American lawmakers hopeful of better Indo-US ties under Modi
Washington: Eagerly awaiting to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visits the US in September, top American lawmakers have hoped that an assertive foreign policy of the new Indian government would bring the two countries closer than ever.
In their remarks, Congressmen cutting across party lines supported strengthening of ties with India.
They asked House of Representative Speaker John Boehner to invite Modi to address a joint session of the US Congress.
During a Congressional hearing on India held by House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, American lawmakers hoped that the Modi government would take steps to restore the confidence of the international business community and revive the economic growth of the country.
"Prime Minister Modi faces the daunting mission of reviving the Indian economy and taking steps to encourage private sector growth. I am hopeful that his strong position on trade and business development will help achieve this," said Congressman Steve Chabot, who chaired the Congressional hearing on India.
"I am also hopeful that Modi's resolve to implement a more assertive foreign policy, would foster further geo-political alignment and co-operation between the two nations because at the end of the day, US-India strategic interests do converge more than they conflict," Chabot, member of the Republican Party, said.
"Initiative to spur development in India is critical and the US can play significant role in promoting and facilitating steps in this efforts," he said, adding that US businesses continue to face several barriers in India including the crucial intellectual property rights.
The Congressional hearing came ahead of the India-US Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi on July 31 for which Secretary of State John Kerry is travelling to India.
Expressing concern over market access, caps on foreign direct investment and the stalled bilateral investment treaty negotiations, Chabot hoped that these issues would be discussed during the next week's Strategic Dialogue.
There can be no question that it is time for the India-US relationship to be taken to the next level, Congressman George Holding, who is also a Republican, said.
"Joining up the Modi magic with the American dream would be a very powerful combination worldwide," said Holding, who visited India last year.
Subcommittee's Ranking Member F H Faleomavaega, a Democrat, said the US-India partnership should be, could be, one of the most defining of the 21st century.
"While it is shameful that the United States failed to develop a strong friendship and comprehensive partnership with Shri Modi when it mattered most, I thank Prime Minister Modi for accepting President Obama's invitation to meet at the White House on September 30 of this year," he said.