India polls will set new stage for Indo-US ties: Nancy Powell

The US on Friday said the ongoing elections in India will set the stage for the next phase in Indo-US ties and rejected the views that the bilateral relationship “has fallen into the doldrums”. 

Addressing an event, Nancy Powell, who resigned from the post of US Ambassador to India earlier this month, said “…As I close out my tenure as Ambassador to retire to my new home in Delaware. In the intervening two years, we have accomplished a great deal and we have also weathered a few storms.” 

She also asserted it was “more important than ever” for the two countries to reaffirm the commitment to enhance cooperation in mutual security.

Pointing to ongoing elections here, Powell said it “will set the stage for the next phase in our bilateral relationship….It is now more important than ever to reaffirm the commitment of our two great nations to collaborate to enhance our mutual security and prosperity.” 

The counting of votes for the ongoing general elections will be held on May 16 and the formation of the new government will happen thereafter. 

Powell also expressed optimism that the relationship between India and the US will play a central role in global affairs in the decades to come. 

“It has become fashionable for ‘pundits’ to claim that the India-US relationship has fallen into the doldrums. I must disagree. A relationship that is strengthening and deepening may not draw splashy headlines, but it is not headlines that should define us. Instead, I look at concrete examples of what we have accomplished,” she said. 

Giving examples of cooperation on “strategic issues as never before”, Powell said India and US have initiated a series of regional dialogues including US-India-Afghanistan bilateral and trilateral meetings and a separate trilateral with Japan. 

“Our governments formalised bilateral cooperative efforts in off-grid energy access, nuclear safety, ultra-efficient space cooling, and shale gas development…We exchange information regularly on issues of security concern that makes us safer every day in India, in the United States, and in the world.”

“Our militaries train and conduct exercises together in a way that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago,” Powell added. 

The Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) between the two countries has opened a vista where together “we could manufacture more and better defence articles” together, she said. 

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