Eric Garcetti added that the two countries have stood together in the face of challenges. Both India and US will strengthen defence ties and work to develop things together in sectors like space and technology, he said
The US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti said on Monday that India and US share a relationship that is based on a common desire to have stronger economies and a peaceful Indo-Pacific region.
Garcetti added that the two countries have stood together in the face of challenges. Both India and US will strengthen defence ties and work to develop things together in sectors like space and technology, he said.
“We want to see stability in the neighbourhood–that’s important for India. But we also want to stand for the values that I think the Indo-Pacific region is strengthened by — freedom of movement and commerce, making sure we have a rule of law and people play by the same rules,” he said.
Commenting on how electronic modes of payments helped empower Indian people from the bottom up, Garcetti said, “We want to see technology as a positive thing in people’s lives.”
“We don’t see technology as being used against people from the top down. I think there is a contrast where India and the US stand with other countries. But it is never about a third country. It is about us, and I would continue to emphasise this,” he added.
On The Question of Visa
When asked about the status of the backlog of visas for Indian students, Garcetti assured that efforts are being made to reduce wait time and that the US Embassy will be able to process them and get to even higher numbers than last year.
He said, “My goal as an ambassador is to think of five years and 20 years from now. The president of the United States is very focussed on this too. He told me he wants us to focus on reducing visa wait times for not just students but for first-time visitors and others.”
He added how the wait time for visas has been brought down by 60 per cent from where they were in December.
“Indian students are so great for America. They are great for our universities, they are great for our commerce. Look at the number of Indian-born CEOs of great companies based in America. It is good for the American economy, it’s great for the Indian economy, and it’s just good for civilisation too,” he said.
Garcetti’s Connection With India
Garcetti recalled how he has been connected to India for a long time. His first visit to the country was when he was 14 years old. Subsequently, he started studying the teachings and writings of Mahatma Gandhi “and saw its potential to not only transform the world but to inspire and touch our hearts” as a university student.
“And today, while so much has changed since I was 19 years old, one thing that has not changed is the sense of connection I feel, not only to this place now and to the man who lived here with his family but to the aspirations of the Indian people and the universal aspirations of all of us to live freely and to recognise the work of every human being,” he said.
He said this is an amazing moment in the US and India relations, a moment in which the two countries need to raise their ambitions.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from, it does not matter who your parents are, it does not matter what religion you practice, it does not matter what language you speak–all that matters is the dreams in your hearts and working hard to achieve them. And those dreams of India are being realised every single day,” he said.
He also explained how trade between the two countries has grown since he first came to India.
“Today, it is over 100 billion dollars and it (US) is the number one trading partner with India. Back then, there were no defence cells, zero dollars, and now we are an important part of a mutual strategy to keep our people safe and protect the Indo-Pacific region together.”
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