U.S. Will Issue Record Number Of Visas This Year, Says US Ambassador

Eric Garcetti says Delhi has the second largest mission of the U.S. in the world

The United States will issue record number of visas in 2023, said U.S. Ambassador Eric Garcetti in New Delhi on August 22. Speaking at an event organised by “Indiaspora”, an organisation that works for the advancement of India-U.S. relations, Mr. Garcetti recollected his interaction with President Joe Biden and said the latter described India as “the most important country in the world”. He also reminded that freedom of navigation is not being upheld in the South China Sea.

US Embassy in New Deihi

“Delhi has the second largest mission of the U.S. in the world,” said Mr. Garcetti, highlighting the importance of India in the global diplomacy of the United States.

The Ambassador pointed out that the United States had been optimistic about India from the very beginning of independent India. Independence of India was supported by the fact that President Roosevelt discussed India’s independence with Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain as something that was “necessary”, said Mr. Garcetti.

Mr. Garcetti, who had served as the Mayor of Los Angeles, earlier recollected that he visited India for the first time in 1985 with his parents who were employees of the Pan Am airlines. He paid tributes to the Indian-American community which, he said, is at present paying 6% of the total tax of the United states. The American envoy also highlighted his multi-cultural heritage and said he is half Jewish and half Mexican with the maternal side of his family going back to the early 20th century Russia.

“Please come to America,” said Mr. Garcetti, presenting the American visa scheme that is being implemented in U.S. missions across India.

The Ambassador did not take the name of any country but said there are threats to freedom of navigation and pointed out the challenges that Philippines is facing in the South China Sea.

US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti on Tuesday highlighted the profound connection between nations through the Indian diaspora. Delivering the keynote address at the Indiaspora G20 forum, Garcetti said US President Joe Biden had stressed to him the importance of India in the world. Talking about his “dream” to be in India, the envoy said he thought he would come back to live in Bodh Gaya and do a Buddhist studies programme.

“But politics got in the way. I got elected to the student council and I promised I would serve, so my India dream kind of died, or so I thought. But the universe has a curious way of connecting people and dreams. Now suddenly I’m living that dream here when President Biden asked me to consider serving here,” the diplomat said.

“He (President Biden) told me, when he asked me to come here to serve, he said, this is the most important country in the world for me, I think something that no American president has ever uttered in the history of our two countries,” he added.

I thought it was just Joe Biden and he tells the candidate for ambassador to Liechtenstein, “Liechtenstein is the most important country in the world. But he actually meant it because I heard him say it to the prime minister during the state visit.”

Highlighting the importance of the Indian diaspora, Garcetti said 4 million people represent 1 per cent of the population of America but 6 per cent of the tax base.

“They are 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs.”

Garcetti said the best thing “you can have in life is being comfortable crossing borders, navigating between places. We are part of multiple identities. But in reality, we are part of concentric circles,” he said. His keynote address was on ‘The Indian Diaspora – A Bridge between the United States and India’.

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