Washington/New York, Sept.26 : India will open two more consulates in the United States as part of a bilateral and diplomatic exercise to enhance existing ties between the two countries.
Disclosing this to the Indian media team accompanying Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on his ten-day visit to the United States and France, Foreign Secretary Shiv Shanker Menon said that the consulates would be opened in Seattle in Chicago and in Atlanta in Georgia.
"We also agreed to open two additional Consulates in the US at Seattle and Atlanta. US has opened its Consulate in Hyderabad," Menon said after the Manmohan Singh-George W Bush meeting in the White House on Thursday evening.
When asked what were the factors guiding the decision to open consulates in Seattle and Atlanta, Menon said: "I think, community is always a big reason for us. I think for location of consulates, there is also commercial reason where our trade originate from, where there is buying and selling and also the importance of these cities or the consular areas that we carve out for them for our relationship."
"Seattle for instance has a large community and there is lot of trade from the West Coast. There is lot of high-tech trade with Seattle, not just aerospace and Microsoft but in other areas as well. Same is with Atlanta. Both these areas are of relative importance for us. There are other places where we would like to open Consulates but there is a constraint of resources," he added.
When asked whether India and the United States would consider opening a consulate in Miami for instance, the Foreign Secretary said: "We are keen to, but we cannot do everything at once." By Naveen Kapoor