US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are committed to building an "ambitious" partnership that benefits not just their countries but also other nations working towards peace and stability, America's top diplomat said today.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a Washington audience that Modi's visit in June highlighted the many areas of cooperation that are already underway in this new era of strategic relationship.
"President Trump and Prime Minister Modi are committed more than any of our leaders before them to building an ambitious partnership that benefits not only our two great democracies but other sovereign nations working toward greater peace and stability," said Tillerson in a major India policy speech before CSIS, a top US think-tank.
Tillerson is scheduled to visit India next week.
"My visit could not come at a more promising time for the US-India partnership. As you know, this year marks the 70th anniversary of relations between our two countries," he said.
Tillerson said his relationship with India goes back to 1998, when he began working on issues related to India's energy security and has made many trips to Delhi.
"It was a privilege to do business with Indian counterparts then, and it has been my great honour this year to work with Indian leaders as Secretary of State. I look forward to returning to Delhi next week, for the first time in my official capacity," Tillerson said.
Referring to the fact that earlier this month, a shipment of American crude oil arrived in India, Tillerson said it was a tangible illustration of India and the US expanding their energy cooperation.
The Trump Administration is determined to dramatically deepen ways for the US and India to work together, he asserted.
Noting that more than 600 American companies operate in India, Tillerson said the US foreign direct investment has jumped by 500 per cent in the past two years alone.
The bilateral trade hit a record of roughly USD 115 billion last year, a number US plans to increase, he said.
"Together, we have built a sturdy foundation of economic cooperation as we look for more avenues of expansion," he said.
The announcement of the first Global Entrepreneurship Summit ever to be hosted in South Asia, to take place in Hyderabad next month, is a clear example of how President Trump and Prime Minister Modi are promoting innovation, expanding job opportunities, and finding new ways to strengthen both economies, he said.
Earlier today, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that India can help America in keeping an eye on Pakistan and ensure that it is held accountable for giving safe havens to terrorists. She also stated that for India to become a permanent member of the Security Council, global superpowers will have to agree to reform the structure of the UN body.
Haley emphasised that one of the pillars of President Donald Trump's recently announced strategy for combating terrorism in Afghanistan and South Asia is the development of Americas strategic partnership with India.