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U.S. Has Very High Hopes For PM Narendra Modi's Vision And Ambition: Nisha Biswal Email this page
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NEW YORK: The U.S. has "very high hopes" for the vision and ambition laid out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi but the two sides should "temper" themselves on the timeframe by which the expectations from the new Indian government are met, a top American official has said.
"... These are also early days in the new (Modi) administration, all of us need to be cognizant that this is an administration that is two and a half months old. Let us both set high expectations but also temper ourselves on the timeframe within which we want to see those expectations met," assistant secretary of state for south and central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal told reporters here at the Foreign Press Centre on 'U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities in India'.

She said some important steps have been taken by the Modi administration and "some important signals" sent but these are just the "first steps".

"The government needs to have a firm vision and a path forward but the rest of us need to have some patience with which we engage this new government on that path and certainly we have very high hopes for the direction, vision, ambition that Prime Minister Modi has laid out and what that means for India as well as for the India-U.S. partnership," she said.Biswal was responding to questions on what expectations does the U.S. have as Modi heads to Washington later next month for the Summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Biswal was asked if Obama's invitation to Modi to visit the White House after years of a visa ban implies that the U.S. does not have any concerns about the Indian Prime Minister's "human rights record".

"What should be taken away from the President's invitation to Modi is our great hope, anticipation and expectation of this partnership with this government and with this leader on the basis of the very important vision that he has put forward for India, a vision that is on inclusive and sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all Indians," she said.

Biswal added that Modi has "gone a step further" and talked about a "shared prosperity" for the entire region that helps and benefits the economies not only of India but of its neighbours.

"This is certainly something that President Obama has said that he very much supports and wants to strengthen and partner on. We are looking forward and not backward and we are engaging on that basis and we see an opportunity to engage with India in a very broad and wholesome way," she said.

On hopes of any progress being made in the India-U.S. civilian nuclear deal during Modi's visit to Washington, Biswal said she is not anticipating that something would necessarily happen on that front in time for Modi's visit.

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