Washington: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's just concluded US visit has strengthened the bonds between the two largest democracies of the world and opened up new avenues of co-operation, top American lawmakers have said.
"There are many different areas and sectors where the US and India's growing friendship will cover mutually beneficial ground. Prime Minister Modi's second visit to the US has allowed us to continue to strengthen those bonds and explore new opportunities for us to work together," Democratic Congresswoman from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard, said.
Gabbard is the first ever Hindu Congresswoman elected to the US House of Representatives. She was among the top American lawmakers to have met Modi and attended his address to the community at SAP Center in San Jose, California.
During her meeting with Modi, she and other members of Congress discussed plans to build US-India relations and promote technology partnerships.
"Prime Minister's two-day tour of Silicon Valley included meetings with technology executives who offered their ideas and assistance in bringing India fully into the digital world," she said.
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, who also met Modi in San Jose, said Modi's visit to Silicon Valley is symbol of the collaboration and cooperation between the US and India.
"Innovation and entrepreneurship are values that both of our countries excel at and serve as a model for," he said.
Among the members of Congress who attended the event were Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Ami Bera and George Holding, co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Indians and Indian Americans; Eric Swalwell; Mike Honda and Jim McDermott.
Congressman Matt Salmon said the India and the US were natural partners. "Our growing cooperation on issues like counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, and maritime security is a positive development for the region and the world," he said.
"At the same time, our economic and commercial ties have not kept pace with our deepening political ties," he said.
"I am pleased to support the elevation of commercial issues in the recently concluded first US-India Strategic and Economic Dialogue and Prime Minister Modi's visit to the US, where he heard ideas first-hand from entrepreneurs and business leaders in Silicon Valley on how we might advance our economic relationship," Salmon said.
Following her meeting with Modi over the weekend, Congressman John Garamendi said that he raised the concerns of about the treatment of religious and ethnic minorities in India with the Prime Minister. He is Sikh Caucus Co-Chair.
"I appreciate that Prime Minister Modi gave me the opportunity to discuss these critical issues. Rest assured that he knows where I stand and that the message of my constituents was heard loud and clear," he said.