US lawmakers pledge to deepen India US ties

Last Updated: Friday, December 2, 2011 - 12:33

Washington: Cutting across party lines, US
lawmakers have pledged to redouble their efforts to further
deepen the strategic ties between the world`s oldest and
largest democracies.

The lawmakers gathered at the Capitol Hill on Thursday,
to hold a reception for the Indian Ambassador to the US,
Nirupama Rao, and pledged their support for Indo-US ties.

The reception hosted by House of Representative
Caucus for India and Indian Americans was attended by top
Congressmen and diplomats and officials from the US
Government.

Among key lawmakers present at the reception were
Howard Berman, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Relations
Committee; Frank Pallone and Gary Ackerman; besides the
Co-Chairs of the Caucus, Congressmen Joseph Crowley and Ed
Royce.

Observing that it is an exciting time for Indo-US
relationship, the Indian Ambassador said that the strategic
partnership between the two countries is a pillar of stability
among the many uncertainties that surround today.

"This is a relationship that goes beyond a merely
bilateral construct and has a much wider and much deeper
significance for peace freedom and prosperity of the entire
humanity.

"Indeed India-US strategic relations, strategic
partnerships is a pillar of stability among many uncertainties
that surround us political security and economic in the world
today," Rao said.

The presence of Deputy Secretary of State William
Burns, who is the number two in the State Department after
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Crowley said reflects
the growing relationship between the two countries.

"I know that Secretary Clinton is committed to the
growth of this relationship," Crowley said.

This is a maturing relationship and that would continue
to grow and mature, he said in his remarks.

"We can stand here today and toast the very significant
progress in US-India relations the past decade. But it`s
important not to be complacent. The potential for much more is
there. Both nations need to work towards raising the bar,`
Royce said.

"Two obvious areas of greater cooperation are
economic and security cooperation. We have seen economic
cooperation rise to unprecedented levels, with two-way trade
reaching a record high of USD 50 billion last year. Yet
India`s Commerce Minister describes the situation between the
two countries as `way below their potential`. I agree," Royce
said.

"What`s more frustrating is knowing that trade is
being limited by impediments which both nations could correct.
These are self-inflicted wounds. Examples that come to mind -
the US could chop agricultural subsidy programmes; while India
could provide better access for US exports," he said.

The two governments, business sectors, and community
leaders of both nations should work together to unlock the
full potential, he added.

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 2, 2011 - 12:33

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