'Modi's invitation & Obama's visit to India to create history'

Washington, Dec 3: President Barack Obama will make a "historic visit" to India on the occasion of Republic day, nominee for US Ambassador to India, Richard Rahul Verma has told Senators saying this is a "defining and exciting" time in the Indo-US relationship.

"There is no question that this is a defining and exciting time in the US-India relationship. President Obama will make a historic visit to India in January, becoming the first US head of state to attend India's Republic Day and the only sitting US president to visit India twice," Verma told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday during his confirmation hearing.

Obama and Modi

Obama's trip will build on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's highly successful visit to the United States this past September, he said.

"There's little doubt the relationship has been reenergized, with renewed enthusiasm to take our partnership to the next level," said Verma. Verma, 45, if confirmed, would be the first ever Indian- American to be the top US diplomat in New Delhi.

He would replace Nancy Powell, who resigned from her position early this year. Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Verma said America's strategic partnership with India is rooted in their shared democratic values and in the joint vision of a peaceful, just and prosperous world.

"From expanding trade and defense relationships, to ensuring maritime security and freedom of navigation, from countering terrorist networks to promoting clean energy and sustainable development the US and India share a wide-range of critical national interests. Our partnership is deep, it touches nearly every endeavour of human pursuit, and it has produced important gains for each of our countries," Verma said.

Referring to the growing co-operation between India and the US in various field including trade and defence, Verma said the ripple effects of our partnership need not be limited to Asia. "As Prime Minister Modi noted, the true power and potential in this relationship is that when the oldest and largest democracies come together, the world will benefit,” he said.


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