Endorsing India as a “global strategic, political and economic player”, United States Ambassador to India Richard Verma assured to continue to be supportive of India’s global aspirations, including New Delhi’s bid for UNSC membership in a reformed security council.
The Ambassador recalled a series of developments last week, including “the significant and welcome announcement” of resumption of Indo-Pak talks on key security and economic issues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi securing ‘important commercial and energy deals’ during his five-nation Central Asian tour and ISRO launching five British satellites.
“This is the new normal – India as the global strategic, political and economic player. We welcome that role and will continue to be supportive of India’s global aspirations. We will continue to support India’s bid for UNSC membership in a reformed security council,” Verma said.
In his remarks to students at IIT-Madras, US envoy said that the US wanted India to play a ‘leadership’ role in Paris at the climate talks and we have welcomed and saluted their role in humanitarian response – from Yemen to Nepal to the Maldives.
Incidentally, the US had ‘turned’ to India to help evacuate its citizens from the strife-torn Yemen recently, he said, adding, India was not just a regional power, but a global one. Strategic and economic cooperation were among the areas of focus, he said.
A major naval exercise, ‘Malabar’, will include the Japanese Navy this year and will continue to build a common operating platform for conducting advanced humanitarian and disaster response missions, as well as military operations, he said.
Similarly, ‘Yudh Abhyas’, involving the two armies, will be held in Washington in September, which he said will bring them closer together to forge common understandings on battlefield tactics and strategy.”
“The United States and India look forward to a day very soon when, for the first time, we establish secure phone lines between our respective National Security Advisors, as well as between the President and Prime Minister, further opening key channels of communication on sensitive issues,” he said.
Verma said bilateral trade had crossed USD 103 bn, with Indian companies increasingly opening and investing in the US, while US FDI in India “is on the rebound” even as Indian states were competing to attracting American investments.
“We are in intensive consultations over a bilateral investment treaty; we have similarly intense discussions on food security at the WTO, and we have established robust dialogue and information sharing mechanisms on finance and tax,” he said, adding, India had signed a bilateral agreement with the US to share information to deter and detect tax evasion and money laundering.