A momentous occassion…

We had an early wake-up call this morning- and made our way to Delhi! I’ll certainly have more on our time here soon – in the meantime, I can’t underscore how important our agreement with Andhra Pradesh is. In fact, leaders in AP called it a momentous occasion! Below is an excerpt of the remarks delivered by U.S. Consul General Katherine Dhanani at the event!

 “I’m so pleased to be here tonight to mark the deepening of the relationship between the states of Washington and Andhra Pradesh.  I think the joint commitment of these two great states to closer collaboration makes sense on many levels, and offers the citizens of both states tremendous opportunities for collaboration and exchange.  I also think the momentum at the level of our states is one of the keys to successful partnership at the national level….

…When President Obama visited India in November 2010, he referred to the relationship between India and the United States as “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.”  The relationship is critically important for the future for a number of reasons.  First, the recent reevaluation of the United States’ global priorities resulted in a shift toward the Asia-Pacific region at the same time as India’s is expanding its leadership in the region.  Second, our economies are increasingly interdependent as both our countries seek out opportunities beyond our borders that will generate jobs and income in the future.  And thirdly, we are increasingly focused on global issues and global challenges, like the challenge of violent extremism, which can only be addressed if we act together. 

All these shared interests make it easy to see how important it is for India and the U.S. to be partners….

….The opening of a new consulate in Hyderabad in 2008 was both a sign of the vitality of these people-to-people ties and a new tool to strengthen them.  Building, fostering and facilitating these ties is the common thread that links together all the activities we undertake out of the beautiful Paigah Palace.  The first U.S. Consul General in Hyderabad, Cornelius Keur, was a Washington State native.  As he thought about what he could do to carry out this mandate, he saw tremendous potential in a stronger relationship between Washington State and Andhra Pradesh.  His enthusiasm was shared by a dynamic group of partners, including Speaker Manohar and many of the business leaders here tonight, who visited Washington and whose continued commitment to this relationship has borne fruit with this visit. 

When I met CG Keur in Washington before coming out here, I asked him what he considered to be the most important unfinished business of his tenure.  He told me about the sister state initiative and urged me to support it vigorously. 

So tonight, as the Governor of Washington and the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh affirm the commitment of these two great states to enhance their collaboration and partnership, they will also be bolstering the foundation that supports the tremendously important and continuously expanding U.S. – India relationship.

This is a momentous occasion. Thank you.”

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