US & India can achieve headway in defence, technologies & economic prosperity in Modi 3.0: Eric Garcetti

Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP and the ruling NDA coalition for their successful election, Garcetti said in Modi 3.0 is a time to turn dreams of the bilateral relationship into reality.
Last Updated : 26 June 2024, 07:27 IST

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Washington: Progress in defence partnerships, critical emerging technologies and economic prosperity can be achieved when an "ambitious India" works with an "ambitious America” during Modi 3.0, US envoy Eric Garcetti has said.

Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP and the ruling NDA coalition for their successful election, Garcetti said in Modi 3.0 is a time to turn dreams of the bilateral relationship into reality.

“I think in Modi 3.0, it's a time for us to take our dreams and to really make them reality,” Garcetti said in the interview with PTI, the first by a senior Biden Administration official after the recent general elections in India in which after which Prime Minister Modi was voted to power for a historic third consecutive term.

“Whether it's the work that we're doing together on our defence partnership, whether it's our critical emerging technologies, or whether it's the work that we're doing to build economic prosperity, I think those three things in Modi 3.0, we can look forward to seeing an ambitious India working with an ambitious America to achieve,” Garcetti said.

“I think 3.0 is all about how we make the US and India, again, this relationship that can do good not only for our people but in the world, that can show the world that democracies are better than dictatorships, that a free and open Indo-Pacific is something that is a benefit to every human being,” he said.

Garcetti, who recently completed one year as the United States envoy to India, said that during Prime Minister Modi's second term, "we saw a state visit, the visit of the president during G20, and over 150 agreements reached on everything from the seabed to the stars."

"Whether it's in space, whether it's in health, whether it's in defence, whether it's in trade, we resolved past conflicts and really moved forward with our ambitions in the future,” the 53-year-old former Mayor of Los Angeles city, said.

Garcetti, a close confidant of President Joe Biden is currently in Washington DC to attend the Select USA Summit, in which India has the largest delegation.

He will also address the US-India Aviation Summit, the first in seven years.

Responding to a question on the Indian elections, he said, “First of all, what an impressive election to see a country of 1.4 billion people exercise their right to vote, to see the logistics, the security, the work that was done to ensure the largest democratic election in the world was awesome to see."

"Second, elections are all about people exercising their fundamental rights. It was wonderful for us to see that. We are the two largest democracies in the world,” he said.

Congratulating Prime Minister Modi, BJP, and the coalition for their successful election, he said, "It certainly is a group of leaders that we know well, that we respect well, and we work with incredibly well."

"We can't wait to get back to business. But I assure people, even in the midst of an election, the US-India relationship didn't take a pause and didn't miss a beat," he said.

"We continued that critical work, even in the height of the Indian election, as I know it will continue in the height of ours,” he said in response to a question.

Describing his ambassadorship as the best job in the world, he said he feels like the luckiest guy on the face of the earth.

“Personally, I have loved the warmth that Indians have received me with. I love my interactions with my Indian counterparts," he said.

Underscoring that he has tried to promote two things, Garcetti said, "One is that this is a bigger relationship than just us. Whether we work together in Africa, Pacific Island countries, Southeast Asia, in the multilateral space, in delivering the best G20 ever, that when India and the US are aligned, we're an unstoppable force."

Secondly, Garcetti asserted that this is more than about governments to governments.

"What I have felt is not just my amazing interactions with the Prime Minister, with the Minister of External Affairs and other members of the cabinet, it's been local people in small villages, in remote states, in places off the tourist map where I really have seen the soul of India alive and breathing and its ambitions," he said.

He said his fundamental impression of India as a diverse democracy full of the "most generous, welcoming people anywhere on the face of the earth" hasn't changed.

"It's a place that is always in a constant state of flux, that is the crossroad of the past and the future together. What has changed is seeing on the ground what's being actually built,” he said.

“When I arrived in India when I was just 14 years old, you know, it was an underdeveloped country that was struggling with infrastructure, could barely get the power there, and wasn't connected to the international economy," he said.

"It was a proud, independent nation, but it wasn't yet prosperous. And what I can see now is that vision of prosperity for everyone, " he said.

"I also see the empowerment of people who are the most creative, entrepreneurial, and also caring people that I've ever met, who want to help their fellow Indians do better,” he added.

“I also see the breakdown of kind of the insular look of India having to survive on its own, it's now able to project itself into the world, whether it's protecting the oceans, as we've seen in the West Indian Ocean recently, its piracy, whether it's in development and health, manufacturing the world's vaccines," he said.

"Those are the sorts of things that, to me, inspire me that the India of tomorrow is different in its capacity, but it fundamentally hasn't changed in its soul,” Garcetti said.

Published 26 June 2024, 07:27 IST

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