'Indian-Americans basis for transformation of India-US ties'

'Indian-Americans basis for transformation of India-US ties'

India's new Ambassador to the US has said the small but influential Indian-American community is the basis for "dramatic" transformation of bilateral ties in the past few decades.

"India-US relationship has changed dramatically. When one thinks about the transformation of our ties, it is natural to attribute it to some good diplomacy on both sides...but to me, the basis for transformation of this relationship is the Indian-American community," S Jaishankar said.

Addressing the Indian-American community from Greater Washington Area at a reception hosted in his honour by the National Council of Asian Indian Associations, Jaishankar praised this small ethnic community for carving a distinct space for itself in the US in almost all spheres of lives.

"When an American thinks of India, the image that comes to peoples mind are Indian-American neighbours, their Indian American colleagues at workplace, the people who provide them services. This is the community, which is regarded as the best educated community, highest income community and extraordinary responsible community," Jaishankar told the audience, representing some 130,000 strong Indian-American community in the Greater Washington Area.

The Ambassador said even through difficult times, one of the commendable aspects of the community has been "to be good Indians, good Americans" and consequently, be good Indian- Americans.

Observing that the relationship has grown enormously, Jaishankar said the "time has come to set new goals... ambitious goals for ourselves".

He identified energy and education as the two sectors where India and the United States can enhance their bilateral partnership, in addition to the strategic and defence relationship to ensure a safer, prosperous and peaceful world.

In the next three years, the US would emerge as one of the major energy providers to New Delhi when it would start shipping natural gas to India, Jaishankar said.

Coinciding with the new envoy's public reception by the community, Maryland Governor Martin Joseph O'Malley proclaimed February 15 as 'S Jaishankar Day' in recognition of his role in strengthening India-US relationship.

The citation in this regard was read and presented by Maryland Secretary of State Rajan Natarajan.

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