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    Ahead of US Presidential Polls, Top Diplomat Says Ties with India Much Bigger Than One Political Party

    Image for representation

    Image for representation

    Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E Biegun said one of the constants in US-India relations is that every presidential administration in the US has left the relationship in even better shape than the one inherited from his predecessor

    India-US relationship is much bigger than one political party, a top American diplomat said on Tuesday, asserting that the ties between the world's two largest democracies enjoy bipartisan support here. "One of the constants in US-India relations is that every presidential administration here in the US has left the relationship in even better shape than the one inherited from his predecessor, and that is an amazing legacy, said Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E Biegun, who has just returned from a trip to India and Bangladesh.

    "This relationship is much bigger than one political party," Biegun said while responding to questions from reporters during a press call organised by the London Regional Media Hub of the US State Department. The remarks by the top American diplomat gains importance just two weeks before the presidential elections on November 3.

    Biegun said that India and the US are not only the two largest democracies of the world, but also have common values and shared interest. The two are very unique countries, and yet the democratic values underpin both of the systems certain directions naturally converges in this strong relationship, the diplomat said.

    Noting that the United States and India face the same challenges in the world, Biegun said the two countries also have the incentives that are driving them to make very sound judgments about their interests, but also lead naturally to collaboration. Biegun said that the two countries are scheduled to have the 2+2 ministerial later this fall. He did not announce the dates that would involve meetings between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with their American counterparts Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

    Likely to be held in New Delhi this time, Biegun's India trip was to prepare for the 2+2 ministerial. Responding to a question, the American diplomat underscored the important role played by the Indian American diaspora in this relationship. He referred to the last year's historic Houston rally which was jointly addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.

    While there is a lot more opportunity in trade and investment, over the past three decades it has increased dramatically, he asserted.


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