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The US is not sending any election observers to India but is eager to continue to deepen and strengthen its cooperation with partners in India, the State Department has said.

“I’m not aware of the United States sending any observers. We generally don’t, in the case of advanced democracies like in the case of India,” Vedant Patel, Deputy Spokesperson of the State Department told reporters at his daily news conference on Thursday.

“We of course are eager to continue to deepen and strengthen our cooperation with our partners in India. And we’re just going to let the election play out,” he said.

The 2024 Lok Sabha polls kicks off on Friday with voting for 102 seats spread across 21 states and Union territories in the first of the seven phases of the world’s largest electoral exercise.

Responding to a question, he welcomed the idea of world leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, playing a role in peace in either the Russia-Ukraine conflict or the war in Gaza.

“In the context of Russia, Ukraine, if any country is interested in using its voice to further deter Russian aggression on the people of Ukraine, we certainly would welcome that,” he said.

“In the current ongoing context in Gaza, any country that believes that they can play a positive role in helping us get to a release of hostages, helping us get additional humanitarian assistance into Gaza, helping to defeat Hamas, they certainly should and are welcome to play that role,” Patel said.