Advancing India-US ties crucial for America: Congressman Engel
Describing India-US relationship as one of the most important ties for America, a powerful Congressman said that strengthening and advancing this partnership is his country's top strategic goal. Congressman Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said this in his address at a Capitol Hill event on Thursday to bid farewell to outgoing Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
Engel said that Shringla, who now heads to New Delhi to take charge as the country's next Foreign Secretary later this month, would play an important part in helping America to achieve this goal. Engel in an exception let House Foreign Affairs Committee room in Rayburn House building be the venue for the farewell for an outgoing foreign envoy at the US Capitol.
"I regard the relationship between the US and India as one of the most important relationships the US has. As chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I will continue to do everything in my power to strengthen the relationship between India and the US," Engel said. "We (India and the US) have so much in common," he said in his farewell remarks at the prestigious Congressional room, which is the venue for all House hearings on foreign affairs issues. It was also the venue for the Congressional hearing on Kashmir in October.
"The very strong Indian American diaspora we have here in the US helps not only enrich the US but helps bring our the two countries together," Engel said in his remarks. "We will keep working together to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries," he said. The farewell reception was hosted by Ranju Batra, chair, Diwali Foundation US and Ravi Batra, chair, National Advisory Council South Asian Affairs.
New York-based attorney Ravi Batra thanked Engel for allowing this special reception for an outgoing ambassador inside the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which he said is symbolic of the strength and the vitality of the bilateral relationship. The reception was addressed by other influential Congressmen, including Brad Sherman, Indian American Raja Krishnamoorthi, Pete King and Jim Vargas. Noting that he arrived in this country exactly a year ago on January 9, Shringla said this has been an eventful and result-oriented year for India-US ties. "We had very significant engagement with Congress. We've been given every encouragement by our friend in Congress, particularly by Chairman Engel," he said.
"We have a debt of gratitude to you for being so understanding of some of the issues that are part of our relationship. I'm happy that because of your encouragement, we made a lot of progress in initiatives that are important to us. You'll also be happy to know that as we speak, Ambassador Ken Juster, the US Ambassador to India is in Jammu and Kashmir visiting that part of our country," he said. The foreign secretary-designate said that India will continue to be fully engaged with the US Congress because as a democracy, it understands what it means to be engaged with the elected representatives of the people in the US.
"And if you want to forge a close relationship with the US, we have to have a close relationship with Congress, we have to be able to be in touch to that, we can inform them of what is happening are, we can encourage them to take steps to bring our relationships closer and it's with their oversight that the relationships can thrive and prosper," Shringla said. India's Consul General in New York, Sandeep Chakravarthy was also present at the farewell reception, which was attended among others by eminent members of the Indian American community.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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