Senators ask Obama Admn to accelerate talks on investment pact

A letter in this regard would soon be sent to President Barack Obama, Senator Mark Warner announced at a reception hosted by the Senate India Caucus for newly appointed Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao.

Warner along with John Cornyn are Co-Chairs of the powerful Senate India Caucus. With 40 members on board, the grouping is the largest bi-lateral caucus in the US Senate.
"Hopefully, soon we get to 60," Warner said.

"Senator Cornyn and I are sending a letter to President Obama calling for the administration and its Indian counterparts to accelerate negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty between the two countries," Warner said, adding that is to provide the security that is needed to investors from India to choose the US and vice versa.

The letter has already been signed by the two Senators and is now doing the rounds of the Capitol Hill for other Senators to sign in.

Besides Warner and Cornyn, among other members of the Senate who attended this unique event hosted at the Capitol Hill were Kay Hagan, Saxby Chambliss, Chris Coons, Daniel Inouye, Jeff Bingaman, Roger Wicker, John Kerry, Charles Schumer and Michael Binnet.

Warner praised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for taking the bold step of foreign direct investment in multi-brand retailing and other set of economic reforms measures.

"One of the challenges and opportunity that we have in this Caucus is to take the kind of friendship that exists between India and the United States and the remarkable amount of progress that is being made in terms of some of the large agreements made between the two counties and really broaden that true partnership," he said.

"We want to serve as a conduit between both our friends in India and our friends in the US on how we in the Senate can strengthen this true partnership," the Senator said.

Relationship with India is important to the US because of the trade opportunities, national and global security and security in the vital region occupied by India, Cornyn said.

Cornyn hoped that Pakistan prosecutes those responsible for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Arguing in favor of accelerating negotiations on the bilateral investment treaty, the Texas Senator said India is an important trading partner, specifically the State of Texas.

The Texas Senator said India-US relationship is one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.

"We look forward to improve upon and expand that relationship and expand cooperation on all of our nations common goals, bring stability to Afghanistan, Pakistan; encourage greater trade between the United States and India businesses," Cornyn said.

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