India-US ties will deepen, move into higher sphere: Modi

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Kerry_ModiDays before he heads on his maiden visit to the US, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has articulated his conviction that the India-US partnership will not only deepen in days to come, but will also have a larger canvas of global cooperation.

Speaking to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on September 19, Modi said India and the US shared a natural temperament for co-existence and that relations between the two countries will deepen in the days to come.

When asked if India and the US could develop a genuinely strategic alliance, Mr Modi said:  “I have a one word answer, and with great confidence I say — yes. Let me explain — there are many similarities between US and India. If you look at the last few centuries, two things come to light — America has absorbed people from around the world, and there is an Indian in every part of the world. This characterises both the societies.”

“Indians and Americans have co-existence in their natural temperament. Now yes, for sure, there have been ups and downs in our relationship in the last century. But from the end of the 20th century to the first decade of the 21st century, we have witnessed a big change. Our ties have deepened. India and the USA are bound together, by history and culture. These ties will deepen further.”

Modi stressed that the India-US ties go beyond the bilateral confines of Delhi and Washington since it a “much larger sphere,” adding, that at the moment both Washington and Delhi have the right environment to try and upgrade the relationship.

“The good thing is that the mood of both Delhi and Washington is in harmony with this understanding. Both sides have played a role in this,” said Modi.

Since the new Indian government took office in May, US’ President Barack Obama has voiced enthusiasm for rejuvenating the India-US relations, which languished in the last few months of the previous Manmohan Singh government.

In the three months since Mr Modi became the prime minister of the world’s most populous democracy, Mr Obama sent four senior figures of his administration to Delhi, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Deputy Secretary William Burns.

Modi will meet Obama on his two-day visit to Washington, starting September 29. The two leaders s are expected to give a fresh impetus to strategic and economic relations between the world’s oldest and largest democracies.


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