India, US relationship to continue to grow - The New Indian Express

India, US relationship to continue to grow

Published: 12th December 2013 07:17 PM

Last Updated: 12th December 2013 07:20 PM

 The strategic India-US relationship is unlikely to slow down due to the general elections next year, as top officials from both the sides have chalked out an action plan to keep the momentum going.

"We expect the intensity of the strategic partnership to continue to grow. This (India-US relationship) is an ongoing process. Regardless of elections, this is going to continue,"sources said as Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh concluded her four-day US trip during which she met top American officials.

Singh's US visit was preceded by the Army Chief's tourlast week. The Chief Election Commissioner arrives here later this week. A Congressional delegation is headed to India over the weekend, which would be followed by a trip by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Assistant Secretary of State forSouth and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal in January.

"You can be quite assured that this (India-US ties) will continue," sources said, adding that there is an ongoing set of interaction that India has with its strategic partners like US, which would keep continuing at the government level.

In addition to Secretary of State John Kerry and other officials at the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon, Singh had a series of meetings with top American lawmakers including Senators Mark Warner (co-chair of the Senate India Caucus), Robert Menendez (Chairman of the Senate

Foreign Relations Committee), Ed Royce (Chairman of the House, Foreign Relations Committee) and Joe Crowley (Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans).

Describing the meetings as exceedingly useful and very productive, sources said that Singh left Washington highly impressed by the depth and richness of the relationship.

Singh had a highly productive meeting with Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel B Poneman not just on civil nuclear energy, but also on other source of energy including shale gas.

In her meeting with Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James N Miller, she discussed on implementing the joint defense declaration issued after the September meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama.

The Foreign Office Consultations happened in the absence of the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, who had to leave suddenly for Chicago for personal reasons. But the two spoke over phone.

The Foreign Office consultations included a wide range of issues including bilateral and development in the neighborhood both in the east and the west.

On Wednesday, Singh had Strategic Security Dialogue with Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller.

"The India-US partnership has reached a level where you can discuss anything including issues on which there may be differences in perspective," sources said.

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