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Kerry With Indian External Affairs Minister

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R), on his first visit to India as secretary, poses with Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid for photographers at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, June 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jacquelyn Martin/Pool (INDIA - Tags: POLITICS) -

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry comments at the conclusion of the fourth round of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi, India.

“India and the United States, two of the most powerful economies in the world, two democracies, two countries that share so much in terms of our values and our aspirations, we believe [we] have an opportunity to set a new standard for cooperation,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said recently at the conclusion of the fourth round of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue hosted by the Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in New Delhi, India.

“Twenty years ago as a United States Senator, I led one of the first U.S. Senate trade delegation visits to India at a time when the Finance Minister [was Manmohan] Singh, [who is] the current Prime Minister,” Secretary Kerry said. “He had just embarked on a series of major economic reforms, and nobody quite knew where they would take India. Now that’s a matter of history - it has taken India to new economic heights.”

Kerry With Indian External Affairs Minister
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“Our economic engagement has seen tremendous progress in the last decade,” Secretary Kerry said. “Trade between the United States and India has grown fivefold [and] investment by a factor of 10. And last year, we almost topped $100 billion in two-way trade and we are on track to do even better.”

India and the United States are uniquely positioned to take on some of the toughest challenges of our time, including international and regional security, energy and space cooperation, global climate change, and bringing more economic possibilities to many more people.

“United Sates and India share a very specific and similar vision for peace, democracy, and stability in Asia and in the Indian and Pacific oceans,” Secretary Kerry affirmed. “We welcome the strong leadership that India plays today both in the region and on the global stage.”

“But relationships don’t transform by chance,” Secretary Kerry continued. “They transform through hard work and a shared vision to galvanize both sides to think ambitiously and creatively about the next steps in the partnership, so that 20 years from now our successors will stand here and say how far the relationship has come.”

“I am convinced that the U.S.-India friendship is one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century,” Secretary Kerry said in conclusion. “We made a long list of items that we need to follow up and we are [creating] an action plan [of] policies and programs that can improve the lives of both of our people, and in keeping with our values and our spirit, improve the lives of our neighbors around the world.”