India one of US` strongest partners: Crowley

A prominent US lawmaker has pressed for greater focus on ties with New Delhi as well as on the large Indian American community.

Washington: Terming India as one of America`s
"strongest" and "most important" partners, a prominent US
lawmaker has pressed for greater focus on ties with New Delhi
as well as on the large Indian American community.

Co-Chair of the House Congressional Caucus on India and
Indian Americans, Congressman Joseph Crowley is part of the
Congressional delegation visiting India.

Crowley will also travel to Myanmar immediately after his
India visit.

"India is one of America`s strongest and most important
partners, from both economic and diplomatic perspectives, and
it is important that we focus on our relations with India, as
well as the Indian-American community here in the US," he

Led by Senator Mark Warner, Co-Chair of the Senate India
Caucus, the delegation will meet top government and business
leaders in New Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Kolkata, exploring
opportunities to expand business, trade, defence and cultural
relationships between the two countries.

Crowley represents New York`s 7th Congressional District,
which is home to a strong Indian-American community.

Ahead of his India travel, Crowley met local Indian-
American community members and business leaders.

"I represent a very diverse district, which includes a
large and vibrant Indian-American community, and US-India
relations are important to many residents of the 7th district
of New York. I look forward to updating them on my visit when
I return and continuing to work them on a myriad of issues,"
Crowley said.

While in Myanmar on January 12 and 13, Crowley is expected
to meet Nobel Laureate and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu
Kyi and ethnic minority leaders, as well as government

"I am visiting the country to assess the situation on the
ground, as well as to encourage the government to continue on
the path of reform. While the government has taken some steps
in the direction of reform, there is more that needs to be
done," he said.

"I am also very much looking forward to my meetings with
Aung San Suu Kyi, a leader I have admired for years," he

Crowley has been vocal on the issue of Myanmar in the
House - spearheading the effort to strengthen sanctions on
its military leaders, authoring legislation to renew the ban
on all imports from the country, and leading the successful
effort to award Aung San Suu Kyi the Congressional Gold Medal.