Warming India-U.S. ties will not alter with change in government

Monday, 27 April 2009, 04:12 Hrs
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New Delhi: India-US relations that have warmed up considerably over the past few years are not dependent on a change in government in either country, US Deputy Chief of Mission Steven J. White said here Friday.

"There is a broad bipartisan support in the US for our growing ties with India," White said in his address at the annual meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce at the ITC Maurya hotel.

According to him, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government continued to extend the same support for the bilateral ties that the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had shown.

"Although President Obama campaigned on a broad theme of change, it is continuity that is defining his vision of Indo-US ties," White said, adding: "It demonstrates that US engagement with India is not dependent on changes in either government."

Comparing the Obama administration's engagement with India to that of the previous administration, he said: "You can see that we are off to a very fast start indeed."

Brushing aside all apprehension about the next Indian government, White said: "There is every reason to believe that pace will continue with whatever government is in place after India's election. Just as we have a new government in place, so will you next month."

According to him, American diplomats stationed at the US embassy were watching the "impressive and complex" election campaign. "We look forward to working with the government that is formed after the election cycle is completed next month."

White said once the new government was in place, there are many areas where the Obama Administration was ready to step in to take forward the strategic partnership between the two nations, deepen cooperation and resolve disagreements.

"On the economic front, we look forward to working with the next Indian government on deepening our financial, trade, investment and energy engagement," White said.

The deputy chief of mission said even now, discussions were underway between the US and India to identify dates for the launch of negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty after the elections, as well as for the next session of the US-India Financial and Economic Forum.

"We may even expand the Financial and Economic Forum to discuss more microeconomic issue as India's role in the global economy has become more prominent," White said.
Source: IANS
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