US envoy Roemer key to managing U.S.-India relationship

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Washington, Nov.24 (ANI): In having six-time Congressman Timothy Roemer posted as Washington's envoy in New Delhi, there is a view that the exquisitely sensitive U.S.-Indian relationship is being managed by someone with a finely tuned political ear.

Roemer, according to Politico, also has some serious academic and policy credentials, which should stand him in good stead during his diplomatic stint in New Delhi.

He has a doctorate in government from Notre Dame, and after leaving Congress, served as president of the Center for National Policy, a Washington think tank.

"Peace and stability, and a peaceful relationship between Pakistan and India, is very much in the U.S. interest," Roemer said in an interview with Politico last week, after arriving in Washington ahead of Singh's visit.

"And any kind of talks between India and Pakistan, India and Pakistan will determine the pace and character and progress of those talks," he added.

To his task, Roemer brings a prodigious interest in intelligence, counter-terrorism, and non-proliferation issues and a reputation as a heartland centrist who earned Obama's gratitude for his endorsement.

Roemer has burnished his foreign policy reputation as a member of the joint House and Senate intelligence panel that investigated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, where he had a reputation for his keen interest in the raw data and his spending hours doing research.

Eleanor Hill, who served as staff director of the joint inquiry, recalls Roemer frequenting the special secure suite in the Ford House Office Building where the records were kept, proceeding to spend hours poring over documents and staff statements.

"A lot of them can't spare the time to do that, and he made sure he made the time to do that," says Hill.

Hill noted that Roemer didn't just learn about terrorism, but about counter-terrorism as well, a study that she said perfectly correlates to his work now in India.

After retiring from the House, Roemer continued to immerse himself in counter-terrorism and intelligence issues serving as a member of the independent 9/11 Commission.

Fellow former Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton, co-chairman of the commission and another occasional Obama confidant, said Roemer was a key consensus builder in the bipartisan group dealing with hugely sensitive and often politicised issues. (ANI)

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