The inauguration of President Barack Obama in his second term "opens up new and inspiring vistas for cooperation between our two countries," said the Indian Ambassador to the United States, Nirupama Rao.
The ambassador was speaking at a reception hosted at her residence to mark India's Republic Day on Thursday evening. Rao's guests included Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, and Ami Bera, the newly-minted Indian American Congressman from California.
"This is an occasion when we celebrate the strength and resilience of India's vibrant democracy, her respect for fundamental freedoms, her upholding of the rule of law, and her commitment to friendship with neighbors and our partners all over the world," said Rao.
She spoke about the birth of India 63 years ago, on the 26th January, 1950, when "our Republic was founded on the selflessness and the vision of those who fought and won our freedom."
"The anniversary of that first Republic Day is the occasion for us to renew our pledge and our determination to protect our Republic, and to work for the progress of our country. We have never been, and will never be deterred by any challenges we may face, knowing that the basic goodness of the human spirit that imbues our people, and our belief in democracy and its enduring values, can never let us down," said Rao.
In her speech, Rao said that it is the faith of India "in democracy and the democratic dividend that unites us in partnership with the United States of America."
She added: "Our strategic partnership with the United States is marked by energy, by hope, by the vision of our leaders that our cooperation for global peace, progress and stability can make a difference for our century. We have particularly valued the friendship, the commitment and dedicated cooperation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Deputy Secretary Burns, Under Secretary Sherman, and other outstanding colleagues in the Department of State in this journey that we have
jointly undertaken to strengthen India-U.S. partnership over the last
She recounted what the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, said in his words of greeting and felicitation to President Obama on his reelection: "I have no doubt that there is much more we can do together to further strengthen the India-U.S. partnership and thereby advance peace and stability, expand mutual economic opportunities, harness the potential of science and technology, innovation and higher education and empower our people to address global challenges."
Rao said that "this is the agenda before us in this new phase of our relationship, one that we must work together to realize. Our success in doing so will make a crucial difference not only for our two countries, but indeed for the rest of the world, and its peoples." (GIN - AmericanBazaarOnline.com)