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U.S. Government Departments Told To Identify Areas to Take Up With India Email this page
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WASHINGTON: The Obama Administration has issued instructions across all departments of the U.S. government to identify few areas that they would like to take up with the new leadership in India after the Lok Sabha polls. Asserting that ties with India "transcends" personalities and political parties, the Obama Administration will continue to engage whichever government comes to power in India, a senior U.S. official has said. "Let's see what the Indian voters decide... Once the Indian voters decide and we have a government then I will be able to tell you how we are engaging that government. But I will tell you, whatever the Indian voters decide, whatever government comes to power, the U.S. will engage that government, because we have long-term biding national strategic and economic interest in India.
"We will continue to engage India, whichever government comes to power," a U.S. government official told PTI. With just a month left for the formation of the new government in India, instructions have been given across all departments of the U.S. government to identify a few areas which they would like to take up with the new leadership in New Delhi. "Given how important India is our partner and a friend, on a priority basis, we are going to have to make sure that all of the counterparts on our side, develop good relationship with their counterparts on the Indian side."Most important from my perspective is make sure that all of our Cabinet officers are meeting all of their Indian counterparts and develop good relationship. Without good relationship, good bureaucratic relationships, how can you achieve things that you are trying to achieve things together," the official said, requesting anonymity. The U.S. government is going to engage with the new Indian government as it has done in the past, irrespective of the individuals or the ruling party, the official said.

The relationship transcends political parties, transcends personalities. Our work is with the government, people and country of India. "Ultimately, the national interest remains the same. Personalities may change, little bit of flavour here and there. But the national interest remains the same. I think that is true at the Indian side as well," the official added. Noting that it is for the Indian government to make its own decision about what it needs to do to take its economy forward, the official said the American private sector has made its views clear that it would like to see greater opening in the defence field, in retail, in agriculture, in financial system.

"But these are decisions for the Indian government to make. We will certainly advocate the views of our companies, but I think in terms of government-to-government actual to-do list - things that we should do together - a bilateral investment treaty makes a lot of sense. American companies want a stable and predictable business environment, with a level-playing field, clear rules and clear and fair arbitration disputes" and no retrospective actions which change the material calculations that they made about long-term investments", the official added. "On foreign affairs you would see a very great desire by the United States to continue its coordination with India in the neighbourhood, and in the broader region around India going west and going east," the official said.

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