CHENNAI: When Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State and the most influential personality in the Obama administration called on Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, soon after her landslide victory in the State Assembly elections, she lauded her achievements as “a great success story.”
When Clinton called on Jaya at Fort St George on July 20, 2011 it was marked by exchange of views on many social, political and economic issues.
While the US Secretary of State envisaged more American investments in Tamil Nadu and invited the CM to visit the US to enable Americans to know about the great achievements of this state, the CM duly used the opportunity to showcase the infrastructure facilities available in State and invited the US to make more investments.
The discussions between Clinton and the Chief Minister at the Secretariat lasted for an hour. Security was beefed up at Fort St George during the visit of US dignitary.
Clinton described Jayalaltihaa as a great personality who had many achievements and was all praise for the welfare schemes being implemented by AIADMK so much so that at one point of discussion, the American delegation requested Jayalalithaa to send the details of all her welfare schemes to the US Consul General at Chennai so that they could use it in various forums.
During the discussions, Jayalalithaa took up the plight of the Sri Lankan Tamils who were languishing in camps even after two years since the war ended. Clinton in turn assured her that US was looking at some ‘innovative and creative ideas’ in breaking this impasse and enabling the Lankan Tamils to get back to their own homes.
While the CM invited more US investment in the automobile sector in Tamil Nadu, Clinton informed her that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation in the US had many opportunities for investments in Tamil Nadu and the US would look forward to many large investments in the State.
The US delegation comprised of Bob Blake, Assistant Secretary of State, Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s issues, Peter Burleigh, US Ambassador to India, Andrew T Simkin, US Consul General at Chennai and Huma Abidin, Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Secretary of State. From TN government, Finance Minister O Panneerselvam, Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi and top officials were present.