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World will suffer badly if nothing is done to stop persecution of religious minorities: Condoleezza Rice

ANI  |  Asia 

Former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday reminded leaders from across the globe that the will 'suffer badly' if nothing is done to stop the persecution of the religious minorities.

Speaking at the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum at the second Annual India Leadership Summit here, Rice said that there is nothing more 'emotional and dangerous' than when the people go after each other over religion.

"There are societies in which there are a great tradition and history of tolerance to religious difference. There are societies in which those issues are contested every day, and then there are societies in which there is no separation (between the state and religion) whatsoever. But we have to remember that there is nothing more emotional, nothing more dangerous than when people go after each other for religious reasons," she said.

"I think the protection of religious minorities is becoming a problem worldwide. There are even people in the US who worry that we are seeing a rise in hate crimes against certain religious people. We all will suffer badly if we go down this road and I think that every leader is cognizant of this," she added.

During her conversation with the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum(UISPF) board member Purna Saggurti, the former Secretary of the State touched upon several topics including shifting global orders, trade, and oil.

Recalling the India-US civil nuclear deal signed in 2008, Rice underlined that the agreement opened up the possibility of further boosting bilateral ties in key sectors.

"I was the Secretary of State when the two countries signed the civil nuclear deal that opened up the possibility of a much more sophisticated US-India relationship, whether in hi-tech, defence or humanitarian grounds," she said.

Rice served as 66th US Secretary of State under the then George W Bush administration from 2005 to 2009.

Touching upon the current scenario of the order, Rice highlighted the difference in the governance styles in democratic and authoritarian regimes.

"One of the great advantages of democracies is that change in the governance and policy can be brought about peacefully through the voice of the people. Authoritarian regimes can make policy quickly but they can also make bad policy without oversight," she said.

The former top American diplomat said that people in Europe would hope that they will not see a 'hard' Brexit, meaning the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

"I hope that the Europeans do not get to see a hard Brexit. This Brexit has already come at a great cost," Rice said.

The Republican leader said that the US was "very close" in resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict, but lamented that Washington is now "further away".

"We were very close. But we are now farther away. Palestine has not had an election for a very long time. Time could be running out," she warned.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, October 21 2019. 22:19 IST