German Ambassador to India, Michael Steiner (L) listens to Dr. Hubert Lienhard (R), Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA), speaking during a joint news conference in New Delhi, India, 11 July 2014.
May 8, 2015 5:35 AM EDT

The German Ambassador to India added his voice to the growing discontent over the Indian government’s treatment of international nongovernmental organizations on Thursday, saying that the South Asian nation needed to show more support to the groups.

“NGOs are doing impressive work in India,” Micheal Steiner said at an event in Delhi, according to the Indian Express. “I think the fundamental approach should be to support their work.”

Steiner’s remarks came a day after a similar sentiment was expressed by U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma. “I read with some concern the recent press reports on challenges faced by N.G.O.s operating in India,” Verma said in a speech, warning of a “potential chilling effect” if the Indian government continued to target civil society groups.

The government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cracked down on various nongovernmental groups such as Greenpeace India and the Ford Foundation, claiming they have violated rules and citing national security concerns over the use of their donations.

“I think the best situation is if you have transparency on one hand and appreciation on the other,” Steiner said on Thursday.

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