Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi meets PM Modi in India, commits to work to strengthen Indo-US ties

President Donald Trump has continued with the India policy of his predecessor Barack Obama and the support for the Indo-US relationship transcends political parties here, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, an influential Indian-American lawmaker has said.

“I think that his India policy so far has been somewhat of a continuation of what President Barack Obama did and, before President Obama, what President Bush had done,” Democratic Congressman, a vocal critic of the foreign policy of Trump, said.

At a time when several issues beset the U.S.-India relationship, including the H-1B visa and trade matters, Rep.  Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, says he will work with U.S. lawmakers to ensure the bilateral relationship is strengthened.

He issued a statement to that effect following on his April 6th meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi where he said he discussed the special relationship between the United States and India.

The formal talks were conducted as part of a high-level delegation of American Congressional leaders meeting with their Indian counterparts to discuss trade, strategic partnerships, and security coordination, which his office told News India Times, was hosted by India’s External Affairs Ministry. The other lawmakers in the bipartisan U.S. delegation included another Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera, D-California, as well as  Reps. Dave Schweikert, R- Arizona, Tom Suozzi, D-NY, Terri Sewell, D -AL, Dina Titus, D – NV, Drew Ferguson, R – GA, and Pete Olson, R-TX.

“I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that the United States and India are able to continue their partnership on peace and security in an uncertain world,” Krishnamoorthi is quoted saying in a press release. Calling it an honor to meet Modi to discuss the further strengthening of the “special relationship,” Krishnamoorthi described India as the “linchpin of security” in the Indo-Pacific region, which the Trump administration has made one of its foreign policy priorities.

“This week’s talks have been instrumental in ensuring that the United States and India continue to build on our security partnerships and promote peace and stability in the region and across the world,” Krishnamoorthi said about the discussions held with counterparts and officials. “The meeting with the Prime Minister only underscored that at the heart of our friendship with India are the values that we share: a commitment to freedom, democracy, and the rule of law,” the Congressman said.

“US-India relationship is a special partnership, so we have to do everything we can to enhance this partnership and to make sure that the great progress that we’ve already seen continues and that it remains mutually beneficial to both countries. I personally believe that it will continue to do so,” he told PTI.

Krishnamoorthi said he had a wide ranging talk with the prime minister.

“It was a formal meeting where we talked everything from, ‘How do we strengthen our relationship between the US and India’ to the fact that the relationship really transcends political parties at this point, really, on both sides, but especially here in the US,” he said on his return from his maiden India trip as a US lawmaker.

New Delhi-born Krishnamoorthi, 44, this year was sworn in as a member of the US House of Representatives.

“I think that both Republic and Democratic administrations have now successfully continued to build the relationship across a range of sectors,” he said.

“Everything from our security partnership to expanding commercial ties, to bolstering our cultural exchanges and so forth. That’s a very positive development, and I told him that I was committed to doing everything I could to continue that work in the US Congress,” he said.

“I also mentioned to him (prime minister Modi) that the relationship is broadening, deepening, and growing across a number of areas and, just as India is keen to attract US investment, we in the United States are very keen to attract Indian investment, especially in places like my own fine congressional district in the Chicago area,” Krishnamoorthi said.

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