US, India eager to move forward with dialogues

Washington: The United States and India are eager to move forward with high-level dialogues and exchanges soon, Secretary of State John Kerry said today, as he extended Republic Day greeting to India.

Kerry, who met External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in Swiss city Montreauex this week, sought to put the Devyani Khobragade issue behind and move ahead on the bilateral ties.

“When I spoke with External Affairs Minister Khurshid in Montreaux this past week, we agreed that both our peoples benefit when the world’s largest and oldest democracies work closely together,” Kerry said in a message.

“Khurshid and I affirmed that we are eager to move forward with our high-level dialogues and exchanges soon, and that our countries remain firmly committed to the indispensable US-India partnership,” he said.

Greeting India on the Republic Day on behalf of President Barack Obama, Kerry said the real magic of India lies as much in its promising future as it does in its rich heritage.

“I’ll never forget my first visit to India nearly 20 years ago on a United States Senate Congressional trade delegation. The dynamism I saw then continues today. India is a country on the move,” Kerry said.

“Beneath all the changes ? and what really binds our nations and our peoples together ?is our shared commitment to a strong and vibrant democratic heritage,” he said.

“India’s transition to democratic independence and emergence on the world stage was one of the great success stories of the 20th century. Today, it is an inspiration for so many young democracies,” Kerry added.

Indian diplomat Khobragade was arrested on December 12 on visa fraud charges, strip-searched and held with criminals, triggering a row between the two countries with India retaliating by downgrading privileges of certain category of US diplomats among other steps.