US ambassador to India Eric Garcetti said the State visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go down in history as the “turning of a page” and starting of a “bold new chapter” in India-US relations.
He also said that it is more than a relationship between the two countries.
"It's a friendship, it's genuine and it's deep.”
“I think this visit will go down in history as the turning of a page and the starting of a bold new chapter in America and India relations. It's the culmination of years and even decades of work,” Garcetti told PTI in an interview.
He also said that it has leapfrogged beyond many of the expectations, whether it's been a personal relationship between Prime Minister Modi and President Joe Biden, whether it was breadth and depth of the work done by the governments, or whether it was the people to people ties, business leaders and cultural leaders and everyday Americans and Indians.
“This really is about the future. And I think America and India are the future, stronger together and showing a vision of how we can create a more prosperous world for everyone if this relationship deepens,” 52-year-old Garcetti said.
On the takeaways from the visit, Garcetti noted the four Ps - peace, prosperity, planet, and people.
He said when it comes to peace, real defence deliverables and the sharing of deeper technology than the United States has done, even with most of its closest allies, on prosperity, “finally putting trade disputes behind us, deepening the technological cooperation and supply chains, on the issue of the planet, work of climate, space and ocean.
In the people-to-people ties opening up of new consulates.
“This is an all-arena relationship now. And it's more than a relationship. It's a friendship, it's genuine and it's deep,” he said.
Garcetti said this moment is defined by optimism and “I don't see that optimism waning in the years ahead. But I think there is a realisation that we do have to plan not just for this moment, that we have to plan for the next 20-25 years.”
He said that there are people “who don't share our values who have planned for the long term, who aren't democracies, that don't see technology as something to help people's lives, that maybe are not interested in helping or moving our work to combat climate change.”
He noted that for the next 25 years, India and the US must prepare for much more than what they have today.
“The number of good things we need to do together, we need to prepare for the rise of the middle class in India... we have to prepare for a way that US and India can really build supply chains that help the world de-risk,” he said.
He further added that New Delhi and Washington have to make sure that “our military cooperation isn't just aspirational and occasional, but it's a true deterrent to bad actors and can help preserve a world based on the rule of law and order.”
On the relationship between Modi and Biden, Garcetti said while world leaders need to talk to each other, “from what I saw reflected in that they (Modi and Biden) love to talk to each other. They need to spend time together. But they also love to spend time together. And that is so important. Whether it's for things that are easy to talk about or some of the more difficult challenges that we face.”
He said during the State Visit, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi were together on about six or seven occasions, “and it was as enthusiastic and warm to the very end as it was the first moment they saw each other.”
The US envoy said that "the Indian dream to me in 2023 mirrors what the American Dream has been for so long. This idea that doesn't matter where you come from, if you set your sights high and work hard, with a little luck, anybody should be able to go as far as she wants."
“When people say they know India, I always doubt that because there are so many Indias. And if people want to simplify India, I would say what's beautiful about India is its complexity, to see the difference in culture, cuisine and language, to understand the vibrancy of the political opinions that people hold, to spend time with those that are struggling to build the kind of world and country they want to see - that to me is very inspiring."
“It's not always a perfect picture, no country is. But to me, it's an inspiring picture. I couldn't think of a better job. I'm having the time of my life. This is the best job I could ever imagine having, and the best country I could ever imagine the President sending me to represent our country.”
On March 16, Garcetti was confirmed by the US Senate as the country's next ambassador to India, filling the key diplomatic position that had been vacant for more than two years.