India-US ties on the right track: Roemer

As he bid farewell, US Ambassador to India Timothy J Roemer on Thursday said relations between the two countries were moving in a postive direction.

Last Updated: Jun 30, 2011, 21:45 PM IST

New Delhi: As he bid farewell, US Ambassador
to India Timothy J Roemer on Thursday said relations between the two
countries were moving in a postive direction and described pat
down searches and criminal charges against Indian diplomats as
an "occasional hiccup or challenge".

"(There are) really the positive stories going forward
that define the relationship, and I hope the media will, quite
frankly, concentrate on those good news stories as well as the
occasional hiccup or challenge that takes place in the
relationship," Roemer told reporters here.
He was replying to queries about the incidents of pat
down searches and imposition of criminal charges against
Indian diplomats in the US.

Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar and a few other
diplomats were subjected in the recent past, to pat-down
searches at the US airports over which India had registered
its protest.

Criminal charges were also imposed on Kritika Biswas,
daughter of an Indian diplomat only to be dropped later while
Indian Consul General in New York Prabhu Dayal has been
slapped with forced labour charges by his former house keeper.

Roemer said these were important issues and the US was
working on them.

"When Secretary Janet Napolitano was here, she said
that we were working to improve how when you have a Minister,
you have very important people visit the United States...that
is a smooth process, that that takes place without incident,"
he said.

Roemer said the two countries were "coordinating more
and more the travel itineraries so that those experiences do
not take place in the future."

The US Ambassador said that though every now and then
there is an incident that takes place either in India or in
the US, the bigger picture suggests that the two countries
have moved in a positive direction in the last ten years.

"We are working together in unprecedented ways in
intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism. How we are working
together across the globe on regional peace efforts," he said.

On the last day in his office, Roemer said, "This has
been a phenomenal two years for me and my family. We are very
grateful to not only the leadership in India but to the
people of India for their hospitality.

The outgoing US Ambassador said in the last two years,
there has been a "significant success" in relationship between
the US and India.
"We have seen Prime Minister Manmohan Singh be
honoured in the first state dinner given by the Obama
administration and then we saw the President of the United
States come to India with an historic and landmark visit
talking about India`s global relationship with the US," Roemer
said.

Before proceeding for a meeting with the Prime
Minister, he said, "I have India not only in my brain and in
my stomach, but in my blood. I am sure you will continue to
see a lot of me in the future with this great relationship."

PTI