United States Congressman Tom Suozzi, who had upset the Indian-American community with provocative remarks on Jammu and Kashmir last week, issued a public apology on Monday.
He said "...it was a mistake not to consult with some of my Indian-American friends and supporters" before writing the letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling for the Trump administration to make Kashmir a major focus.
In a detailed letter addressed to Pompeo on August 9, Suozzi had voiced his concerns focusing on the fact that "Kashmir was a potential flashpoint for conflict between India and Pakistan."
The Congressman added that he was concerned over the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "recent action in Kashmir had contributed to tensions that were now higher than ever."
The letter had resulted in a public outcry by the Indian-American community who make up a large part of the 3rd Congressional District of New York which Suozzi represents, leading to the Congressman issuing an apology.
"I am sorry. If I had met with them (people belonging to the Indian-American community in the US) before sending the letter, I would have framed my concerns differently," he said in the new statement.
"Throughout my career in public service, I have been an ardent supporter of India, their sovereignty, and have always stood with them in their fight against terrorism. The US-India relationship will be one of our most important over the next 50 years and beyond. I have spent my time in Congress promoting and elevating this relationship and will continue to do so," Suozzi added.
Jammu and Kashmir have recently witnessed heightened tensions in the wake of the Indian government’s decision to revoke its special status under Article 370 and bifurcate the state into Union Territories.