US lawmakers seek to fortify strategic partnership with India

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : Citing the India-US civil nuclear deal as proof of the benefits of a strategic partnership with India, two senior senators have invited fellow lawmakers to join a bipartisan forum to promote their “already flourishing relationship”.

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“There is no clearer evidence of the benefits of this strategic partnership than the US-India Civilian Nuclear Agreement, passed by Congress and signed into law last fall,” Democrat Christopher Dodd and Republican John Cornyn, the two co-chairmen of the Senate India Caucus wrote to fellow Senators.

“This landmark initiative paved the way for cooperative efforts in peaceful civilian nuclear power, representing the latest example of the US and India working together on an issue of mutual benefit,” they said inviting the lawmakers to join the forum.

“In the coming years, Congress should aim to fortify this strategic partnership and help foster even deeper cooperation between the US and India,” Dodd and Cornyn said

“To that end, the Senate India Caucus provides a forum for members of the Senate to work closely with Indian government officials, Indian Americans and other friends of India in the US to help promote the already flourishing relationship between our countries and candidly discuss issues of common concern,” they said.

Noting that some two million American citizens are of Indian descent, representing one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in America, Dodd and Cornyn said: “Every day, members of this expanding community make tremendous contributions to US industry, politics, culture, and philanthropy, and their positive impact on our country continues to increase.”

By joining the Senate India Caucus, the lawmakers “would help send a message that the US and India stand together as friends to face even the most difficult and pressing issues of our time,” they said.

“A strong relationship between the US and India, based on mutual trust and respect, will enable close collaboration across a broad spectrum of strategic interests, such as counter-terrorism, promotion of democracy, fostering regional economic development, encouraging respect for human rights, and expanding scientific research.”

“Robust cooperation between the US and India means increased economic opportunities for both nations, as well as the chance to join together to spread the fundamental principles of freedom, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law throughout the world benefiting Americans and Indians alike,” the lawmakers said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])