India, US together can build strong future: John Kerry

Last Updated: Monday, June 24, 2013 - 00:38

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: US Secretary of State John Kerry who arrived in New Delhi on Sunday to take part in the fourth round of Indo-US strategic dialogue said that the two countries should work together to overcome stuttering bilateral and regional issues.

Earlier, the US announced to invest USD 100 million in India`s burgeoning clean energy sector.

Kerry, 69, accompanied by a high-level delegation arrived here on a three-day visit, the first one after assuming the charge of the State Department earlier this year.

He will co-chair the India-US strategic dialogue with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid during which key issues like bilateral trade, defence and security cooperation besides energy and higher education would be discussed.

The Delhi gang-rape victim and the massive protests against the brutal crime came up for mention by Kerry in his speech.

He said when "inequalities or violence seeks to stamp out equality as with the tragic death of Nirbhaya, whose memory I was proud to honour at the State Department recently; We must all stand up and say `No`, just as so many did in New Delhi by demanding justice."

Describing India as a nation that would soon become the most populous and the third largest economy in the world, Kerry touched on defence cooperation, India-Pakistan relations, on Afghanistan, the contributions of the Indian American community.

He described India as an "ever changing place" and that both sides have to move together with the current.

He made a forceful pitch for India and Pakistan to boost economic ties and said it could be the harbinger of a "new era of ties" between the neighbours and help bring in "a level of trust".

Kerry, who arrived earlier in the day on a three-day visit, said he welcomed the increase of "21 percent" in India-Pakistan trade.

He said if India and Pakistan can "confidently invest in each other then the rest of the world will more confidently invest in you".

Ahead of his visit, Kerry had described India as a strategic partner in South Asia with whom the US has one of the defining partnership of the 21st century.

As Kerry arrived in India, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said that it will partner with US-based institutional investor Northern Lights Capital Group to facilitate the investment via Nereus Capital.

This investment, through the Agency`s Development Credit Authority, is expected to create hundreds of additional megawatts of sustainable energy capacity and will help to advance India`s clean energy industry.

"USAID will be able to dramatically leverage large scale funding to help India`s transition to a low carbon economy and open-up new development opportunities for enhanced energy access," USAID Administrator Raj Shah, who is accompanying Kerry, said.

US Energy Secretary, NASA Director, US military chief for the Pacific region Admiral Samuel Locklear and top officials from the State Department and Homeland Security are part of the delegation.

During the talks, India will seek from the US information on the opening of a Taliban office in Qatar besides putting across its concerns about the H1B and L category visas that has raised concerns among the Indian industry, especially the IT sector.
The issue of market access, nuclear liability bill and American National Security Agency`s Internet snooping programme are also likely to be discussed.
Kerry will also co-chair India-US Higher Education dialogue. Kerry will also meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his stay in New Delhi.

With PTI/IANS inputs

First Published: Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 18:45

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