US stands by India on terrorism, to advance strategic cooperation with India: New envoy

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New Delhi, Aug.12 (ANI): The United States intends to stand by India on combatting the menace of terrorism, and on advancing strategic cooperation between the two countries. It will also pursue a robust agenda with New Delhi on key issues such as energy, climate change, education and development; economics, trade and agriculture; science, technology, health and innovation, said new U.S. ambassador to India Timothy Roemer.

Addressing his first press conference here a day after presenting his credentials to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Ambassador Roemer said his primary task would be to take forward the vision of both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vis-à-vis Washington's relationship with India.

Stating that the goals mentioned above were "big, bold and a broad series of undertakings", Ambassador Roemer said that before his arrival in the India, he had met withresident Obama for nearly an hour to discuss the U.S. - India relationship.

"Aside from the good advice he offered me about getting out of New Delhi to meet Indians all around this country, he spoke warmly and respectfully about Prime Minister Singh. In fact, when we had this discussion at the White House, the President touched his heart and he said, "You make sure that you extend my heartfelt wishes to the Prime Minister and his health."

Roemer said that President Obama viewed the U.S.- India relationship as one of the most important partnerships for America's future, and that vision was clearly shared by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Recalling Clinton's four-day visit to Mumbai and New Delhi last month, Ambassador Roemer said she clearly demonstrated her passion for India, its people "and the broad areas in which we are engaged."

He reiterated that Clinton is deeply committed to the success of the U.S. - India partnership and was almost certain that she would be a frequent visitor to India to consult "on our shared concerns."

"The world has been impressed by the broad series of undertakings his (Obama) Administration has begun and the many challenges Americans face trying to address these challenges. We see our relationship with India in terms of its many possibilities - and we have chosen to work on many of them simultaneously and with the goal of dramatically advancing our partnership," Ambassador Roemer said.

"We plan to move from the good work done and the goodwill earned between our countries over the past decade to build a truly global partnership addressing both our nations' top concerns and promises of better health for our children's futures. Put another way, a new strategic partnership on the most critically important issues in the world to help advance our shared regional and global interests," he added.

He said that U.S. Ambassador, he planned to vigorously support the broad bilateral strategic dialogue.

He said that the embassy resources and Washington's help would be used "to bring the best of America forward in our engagement with India."

He said that while the United States is looking forward to Prime Minister Singh's visit to Washington in November this year, officials of both countries would continue to work on the various aspects of the strategic dialogue with the objective of improving "important working relations".

On the issue of terrorism, Ambassador Roemer said that the United States stands firmly with India in countering the menace.

"FBI officials are testifying this week in Mumbai in the 26/11 trial. We cannot forget that six Americans were killed along with dozens of Indians and so many others in that tragic and brutal attack. We will continue to seek justice for those killed and injured in Mumbai and we will work closely with India to share with you the lessons we learned in the wake of our tragic terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

To that end, we have invited the Indian Home Minister Chidambaram to visit the United States for additional discussions on precisely how our two nations can cooperate," Ambassador Roemer said.

He said that the real test of the US-India partnership would be how to work together on the important common global challenges of the present era.

"We have an ambitious agenda with U.S. relations with India and I intend to vigorously pursue this relationship with the support of the President, the Secretary of State, and all of our friends in India and back in Washington," he concluded. (ANI)

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