US Caucus groups want better Indo-US ties

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 here 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 the world 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.

"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.