Busy times for India-US relations: Sushma Swaraj

Washington, Sep 22 (IANS) Bilateral relations between India and the US are going through busy times, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said here on Tuesday at the opening of the first ministerial of the India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.

“These are busy times for India-US relations. The achievements in relations are testimony to the leadership of (US) President Barack Obama and (Indian) Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” she said.

Saying they “firmly believe that an economically prosperous India offers a long term opportunity to US industry and capital, she listed out the areas of cooperation between the two countries which include defence and security, civil nuclear cooperation, science and technology, health, space, energy, and trade and investment.

In his opening remarks, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the economic partnership between the two countries was going stronger with each passing day.

On the security side, he said the US’s collaboration with India would benefit both countries and their people.

India and the US launched the ministerial-level Strategic Dialogue in July 2009. Its first meeting was held in Washington in June 2010, followed by successive rounds in New Delhi (July 2011), Washington (June 2012) and New Delhi (June 2013 and July 2014).

The decision to elevate the India-US Strategic Dialogue into a Strategic and Commercial Dialogue was taken during the visit of Obama to India in January this year for the Republic Day celebrations.

Sushma Swaraj is leading the Indian delegation, which includes Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal and senior officials from various ministries and departments.

The US delegation includes Secretary of State Kerry, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and a high-level inter-agency delegation.

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