Page 52 - IACC Newsletter March-April 2014 Issue 03

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US Govt. will work closely with Narendra Modi: Nisha Desai Biswal
US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Desai Biswal has announced that the US looks forward to working with new Indian
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the first diplomatic visit of a high-ranking US official to India since Modi and the BJP
took control of the country’s government.
Biswal, who oversees Central and South Asia for the State Department, landed in India on Saturday for a three-day tour
that ended on Monday. Her visit is her second ever, having embarked on her first trip to India as the Assistant Secretary
of State back in March, and comes just days after it was announced that Modi will meet with President Barack Obama at
the White House in September.
During her meetings over the weekend, Biswal told her counterpart in the Ministry of External Affairs that she and the
US government will work closely with Modi. Biswal and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh are said to have worked on
finalizing a date for the Modi/Obama meeting, which will surely be a landmark event in the US-India relationship, and
will take place during the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Biswal, whose family originally hails from India, was one of the Obama administration’s first officials to go on-record as
saying that the US is looking forward to working with Modi. Now, Biswal and the White House are reinforcing that
position, hoping to mend ties between the two democracies and move ahead with a relationship that promises to yield
significant fruit for both sides.
Biswal’s trip to India also coincides with that of Kathleen Stephens, the new interim US Ambassador to India, who will
temporarily take over the position from outgoing Ambassador Nancy Powell. Obama has yet to appoint a permanent
replacement for Powell.
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Prez greets Obama on US Independence Day
Felicitating his American counterpart Barack Obama on the occasion of US Independence Day, President Pranab
Mukherjee tonight said Indo-US strategic partnership seeks to transform not only the lives of people of the two
countries but also to create a better world.
In a message to Obama, Mukherjee said, "India and USA have together, built on the bedrock of timeless shared values, a
strategic partnership that encompasses virtually every field of human endeavour one that seeks to transform not only
the lives of our respective citizens, but also to create a better world for all." "It gives me great pleasure to convey warm
felicitations and good wishes of the people and the Government of India on the 238th Independence Day of the USA,"
he said.
The President wished Obama and his family good health and happiness "and every success in your mission of service to
the American people".
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India-US ties must be fostered with a renewed energy
Now that the historic elections in the world’s largest democracy are complete and India has ushered in a new leadership,
we must keep in mind the importance of the United States-India relationship, and continue to foster it with a renewed
energy. Our economic partnership is especially vital.
Business ties, after all, along with a large and active diaspora, have been the bedrock of the US-India relationship over
the last two decades. We are quite encouraged by early signs that the new government in Delhi has chosen to engage
the US early in its tenure. Our two nations’ cooperation has progressed irrespective of which party was in power on
either side. There is simply too much convergence on key issues — the economy, regional security, and
counterterrorism— to allow our bilateral relationship to flounder.