Shouldn’t Let “Minor Speed Bumps” Come In Way Of Relations With US: Envoy

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Indian Ambassador to US Harsh Vardhan Shringla said the countries share strategic partnership


Hopeful that India and the United States will find a "mutually satisfactory" solution to their bilateral differences, the Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that the two countries should not allow "minor speed bumps" to come in the way of what is a great relationship.

Mr Shringla's comments came after US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said that India and the United States working together will make the world a better place and despite differences, the two sides are going to come together. He made the remarks in an apparent reference to the trade and tariff differences between the two countries.

"We should not allow these minors speed bumps to come in the way of what is a great relationship," Mr Shringla said.

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Speaking at the Second Leadership Summit of US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) on Thursday, the Indian envoy said the relationship between the two countries be seen as in strategic and not tactical terms.

He said that many of the speakers at the day-long event alluded to the fact that the two countries share a strategic relationship. The USISPF itself gives the idea that this is a relationship that has to be seen as in strategic terms, not tactical terms.

"And what we are talking about really are strategic gains and that larger and broader vision of not just five but 10, but 50 years ahead is how we need to see each other," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump during their meeting in Osaka, Japan on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit last month agreed to empower their ministers – Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer – who would meet at the earliest possible.

Since then, Mr Goyal has initiated two telephonic conversations with Mr Lighthizer, the diplomat said in response to a question.

"As we speak, there is a US delegation from the USTR's office in New Delhi. They are speaking to a wide range of interlocutors from our side. Today, they had meetings with a combined delegation of our Ministry of Commerce and External Affairs," he said.

"So, we are hopeful that we will find a solution that is mutually satisfactory, beneficial toward our countries and one that can certainly, clear the air for a much greater realisation of the potentials of our relationship.

"I think those potentials are still to be achieved and we need to make sure that in order to move forward, we clear our table of some of the outstanding issues that are there," Mr Shringla said.

He said that he believes that no aspect of the relationship is greater than the whole.

Following the PM Modi-Trump meeting in Osaka, the two countries, he said, are looking at a road map of several meetings from now until later this year, which will build upon and provide momentum to that relationship in the areas of defence, homeland security, commerce trade and industry.

"We are certainly looking at how we can address some of the outstanding issues on the table," he said.

There is a trend towards liberalisation, a trend towards accommodating more foreign direct investments, allowing greater participation in the Indian economy and making sure that there is adequate benefits for those who come into the economy, he said.

"We also plan to have a global investors summit linked to our National Investment Infrastructure Investment Fund later this year, which will bring in the pension mutual funds and sovereign wealth funds into India and introduce them to the Indian market in a more meaningful way," Mr Shringla said.

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