Kerry likely to oversee Modi’s U.S. visit plan

May 20, 2014 08:45 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:24 pm IST - Washington

Despite being slow off the block to congratulate India’s Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi, the U.S. appeared to be making up for lost time, as its Secretary of State John Kerry offered his congratulations to the BJP once again and pledged that the U.S., “stands ready to work closely with Prime Minister Modi and the new government to promote shared prosperity and strengthen our security.”

Mr. Kerry also hinted that he was hoping to be personally involved in taking forward the proposal for Mr. Modi to visit the U.S., despite Washington slapping a visa ban on the BJP leader in 2005.

In this regard he said, "Every time I visit India, I’m struck by the vibrancy of your culture, the energy of your youth, and the strength of your democratic institutions. I look forward to returning to India soon and echo President Obama’s invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit the United States at the earliest opportunity."

Hailing India’s just-concluded general election as “historic,” and congratulating newly-elected parliamentarians as well, Mr. Kerry underscored the strength of the mandate handed to Mr. Modi by Indian voters.

He said, “The voice of the Indian electorate is clear and unequivocal in its call for economic opportunity and effective governance for all,” adding that it was “remarkable” that more voters cast their ballots freely and fairly than any other in world history, with over 530 million Indians going to the polls.

Despite the recent vicissitudes of the India-U.S. bilateral relationship, Mr. Kerry emphasised, “The friendship between the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy is absolutely vital, and the U.S. is deeply invested in our strategic relationship.”

He said that Washington looked forward to strengthening the partnership based on common values, shared democratic traditions, and the binding ties between the peoples of the two nations.

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