US-India Bilateral Relations at Zenith; US Lawmakers Played a Critical Part

US-India bilateral relations are at the zenith in the history of worlds two largest democracies. According to Indian Ambassador to the US, Harsh V Shringla, the powerful Congressional India council, both in the House and the Senate, played a decisive role in deepening of US-India bilateral relations.

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Addressing a gathering of top US lawmakers, Shringla said India has counted every step of the way. A record number of 60 members of the US House of Representatives and Senators attended the reception held at the US Capitol on Thursday evening. Prominent among them were Senators John Cornyn and Mark Warner, who are co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus; Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard among others.

Indian American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal were also present at the event. Praising the “understanding” of US lawmakers to steer the countries “ever closer together”, the Indian diplomat said: “Many in this room will recall the sterling role played by the India caucus in getting us past the finish line on the landmark civil nuclear agreement.”

The designation of India as a Major Defense Partner was also codified into law by the US Congress, thanks to the unstinting support by members of the India Caucus. Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the joint session of the US Congress that the Indo-US ties have “overcome the hesitations of history”, Shringla said he was looking forward to the same comfort, convergence and candour while working closely with members of Congress, particularly the India Caucus.

“Our synergies and similarities are immense. Our values and love of freedom identical. The spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation, and high regard to family and community define the best of both of our peoples,” Shringla said. Senator Cornyn said the bipartisan group of more than 30 Senators who form the Senate India Caucus were working to promote India-US relationship.

India and the US have a “unique relationship” which is based on shared values and opportunities that are presented in this very dangerous world. It was in 2004 that the Cornyn and the then-Senator Hillary Clinton founded the Senate India caucus. It is the largest bilateral caucus in the US Senate, Senator Warner said. “We look forward to the continued success of the caucus and continue growing friendship between India and the United States,” he said.

India is an important ally of the United States and the Indian American community has played a very important role in this, said Congressman Steny Hoyer. “The contribution that the Indian community has made to America is immense,” he said. Gabbard, who this month launched her 2020 presidential campaign, called for building on the momentum of the relationship between the two countries. “There are so many areas of common interest, so many areas of potential. So I have no doubt that with this bipartisan group that’s gathered here from both the house and the Senate, we will continue to do that work,” she said.

Referring to his recent meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Congressman George Holding said in the last two years the India Caucus was able to work successfully in strengthening the military to military relationship. “I think we’re going to have a good opportunity to sell more US military equipment to India,” he said. “I think we can look forward to great US companies advancing their relations than India, such as Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and many others.

And with that more Indian company strengthening their relationship here in the United States,” he added. “We look forward to building our alliances and the Indo Pacific region and there’s no ally that we have in the region that better mirrors the similar values of a strong democracy and freedom,” Holding said. Congressman Brad Sherman, who is now also chairman of the Asia subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said he was a strong supporter of strengthening India-US relationship.

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