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Remarks by Ambassador at Senate India Caucus Reception (November 29, 2011)

Senator John Cornyn, 
Senator Mark Warner, 
Members of the Senate India Caucus present today 
Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman 
Distinguished Members of the Indian American Community 
Ladies and Gentlemen: 

I am deeply honored by the welcome reception organized by the Senate India Caucus. The Caucus and its work epitomize the magnitude of transformation that India-U.S. relations have undergone over the past almost a decade. 

I am grateful for those generous words of introduction by Senator Cornyn, Senator Warner and Under Secretary Sherman. Your confidence in me, and much more importantly in the future of India-U.S. relations, is something I will greatly cherish, as we work together to build an ever stronger, robust partnership between India and the United States – world’s two largest democracies.  

The shared values of human freedom, respect for diversity, tolerance and compassion have nurtured a natural affinity between our nations, created an expanding convergence of our interests, and inspired us to achieve a lot together. From the vastness of space, where our Chandrayaan lunar mission joined by NASA discovered water on the moon, we have joined hands to fight against nature's furies like the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean, as much as combating human-inflicted challenges like piracy and terrorism. Our defence ties are steadily growing. The canvass is, indeed, vast and has enormous promise and potential. 

Two weeks ago in Bali, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh noted to President Obama, and I quote, 
“There are, today, no irritants whatsoever in our working together on a multiplicity of areas, both bilateral, and regional and global issues.” 

Indeed, as India and the United States embark on their Global Strategic Partnership, the horizon of possibilities of what we can do together traverses across all aspects of human endeavour, from the political and strategic to social, economic, innovation, education and frontier science. Our partnership has the potential to shape the destiny of our peoples, and indeed, of the larger humanity. 

Our relationship is unique in that it goes way beyond what only Governments can do. The energy, creativity and enterprising spirit of our people, private sector and civil society are building new bridges across hitherto uncharted waters.  

Economic partnership has emerged as the bedrock of our strategic relationship, with innovation as its defining basis, creating jobs and bringing prosperity to our peoples. The growth of the knowledge economy is as an exciting frontline of our engagement today. Newer areas of cooperation such as nuclear energy, high technology and clean energy resources are making our partnership mutually more rewarding, with flow of ideas, knowledge and people in both directions. 

I would be remiss without highlighting the contributions of the 2.7 million strong Indian-Americans, whose vigour and drive had added new vitality in our relationship. You are a bridge between our two countries, as well as a window to India’s civilization, culture and traditions in this country. Your support and contribution to this relationship will always remain a source of strength for our work. 

India is in the midst of a national endeavour to achieve socio-economic development for its billion-plus population in an inclusive and participatory way. And in this task, we see the United States, with its economic and technological prowess, as an important partner on the basis of mutual benefit. 

We are thankful to the Unites States Congress and the Senate for their interest and efforts in promoting India-U.S. strategic partnership to a new level. The bipartisan support that this partnership receives in the Congress speaks of the strength of our ties, and in turn, is reflected in the maturity and quality of our engagement today. 

Thank you again very much for organizing this event. I look forward to working with the Senate India Caucus and its leadership in the months and years ahead to take forward what President Obama very aptly described as ‘one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century’. 

Before I conclude, I would invite you all to join us at 6 pm for a reception in the Kennedy Caucus Room (Room 325) in the Russell Senate Office Building next door. 

Thank you.