|HOME | NEWS | THE VAJPAYEE VISIT | REPORT|
September 16, 2000
Gore will ensure continuity in Indo-US ties
Amberish K Diwanji in Washington
United States Vice-President Albert Gore assured Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that he will take forward the Clinton legacy as far as relations between India and the United States are concerned, if he is elected to the White House in November.
Hosting a lunch reception after the prime minister completed his meeting with US President Bill Clinton, Gore declared: "On behalf of all Americans, I pledge to your America's continued support and promise you our lasting friendship."
Al Gore is the Democratic Party's presidential candidate, and faces Republican George W Bush, the Texas governor, in the election to be held in November.
Earlier, Bush had telephoned Vajpayee when the latter was in New York on the first leg of his US tour, and spoken to him about Indo-US ties.
Indian officials are keen to ensure that the momentum gained in Indo-US relations due to the effort of Clinton and Vajpayee is maintained when the next administration takes charge on January 20, 2001. And the words of Gore, who currently leads Bush by a slight margin in most opinion polls, must have been most reassuring to Vajpayee and the Indian delegation.
Gore was fulsome in his praise for Vajpayee, and his words echoed much of what Clinton has said. "The United States joins India as a partner on this journey. Our two nations share a special bond. As the world's democracy and the world's largest, we are in your words 'natural allies,' " the vice-president told the prime minister.
Gore took delight in quoting from Vajpayee's poems and the fact that the Indian prime minister was a poet. He recalled that John F Kennedy had once said, 'If more politicians knew poetry and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place to live in.'
Vajpayee, said Gore, embodied Kennedy's words. "In your poem Oonchai, you speak of the importance of not losing touch with humanity as one rises in life." The vice-president added that the prime minister had dedicated his life to this task.
Stating that India was destined for great heights, he pointed out that though India's history has been turbulent at times, the nation is on the way to overcoming these challenges by embracing change, uniting all, and settling a course for the future.
Vajpayee spoke briefly on the occasion, on the same theme of shared values of democracy, pluralism and the road ahead together for the two countries.
Thanking the vice-president for hosting the lunch despite his busy campaign schedule, the prime minister raised a toast to Gore.
Both Gore and Vajpayee in their speeches mentioned the role being played by members of the Indian community in America in helping foster the friendship between the two countries.
And as has well been the case so far, among the about 250 guests were prominent Indian American community members, including Kanwal Rekhi founder of The Indus Entrepreneurs, and Kumar Barve, the first Indian to be elected state delegate (that is a member of the state assembly, in this case the Maryland state).
Also present from Gore's side were Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. Vajpayee was accompanied by External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, Foreign Secretary Lalit Mansingh, and secretary in the prime minister's office N K Singh.
After the speeches, the guests settled down to a continental lunch. After lunch, Gore and Vajpayee held a private one-to-one meeting, details of what transpired at that encounter were not available.
Gore's office has said that never before has it had so many requests for being a guest at the lunch and choosing the final list of guests was extremely difficult from among the pending requests.
rediff.com has assigned Associate Editors Amberish K Diwanji and Savera R Someshwar to cover Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to the United States. Don't forget to log into rediff.com for news of this historic visit as it happens!
ASTROLOGY | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEDDING | ROMANCE | WEATHER | WOMEN | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE MESSENGER | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK