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Diplomacy in Action

Press Gaggle Outside of Ministry of Finance

Press Availability
William J. Burns
Deputy Secretary of State
New Delhi, India
July 10, 2014


Date: 07/10/2014 Description: Deputy Secretary William J. Burns has press gaggle outside of Ministry of Finance in New Delhi, India. - State Dept Image

QUESTION: Can we ask you how your meetings went, what are some of the issues that came up?

DEPUTY SECRETARY BURNS: Sure. Good evening everyone. I’m delighted to be back in Delhi. I am delighted to be here at a moment of such promise and possibility in India, and in relations between India and the United States.

Prime Minister Modi has won a very strong mandate to reinvigorate India’s development, and its rise on the world stage. America has a deep stake in India’s success, and in Prime Minister Modi’s success.

As the world’s two largest democracies, and as two of the world’s largest economies, the United States and India share an interest in each other’s success. The success of our partnership can contribute enormously to a safer and more prosperous world.

I just finished an excellent meeting with the Finance Minister and earlier today had similarly excellent meetings with the Minister of External Affairs, the Minister of Home Affairs, the National Security Advisor, and the Foreign Secretary. And I look forward tomorrow to meeting Prime Minister Modi and to listening very carefully to his priorities.

I know that President Obama looks forward very much to the Prime Minister’s visit to the White House at the end of September. That will be a very valuable opportunity to renew the strategic partnership between our two countries. It’s an opportunity to renew our mutual determination to spur economic growth in both of our countries. Our two-way trade has reached nearly $100 billion a year, but the truth is we’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible.

We can also renew our cooperation in energy, which has great potential, in technology and innovation, as well as in defense and security areas.

Secretary Kerry looks forward very much to his visit for the Strategic Dialogue in India in a few weeks. Secretary Hagel also looks forward to visiting India at some time later in the summer. They both provide opportunities to deepen our cooperation on critical foreign policy issues.

We welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to strengthening economic integration and stability in South Asia, in India’s own neighborhood. And we also welcome India’s renewed interest in “looking East” and engaging actively across Asia and the Pacific.

So this is an exciting moment for India and for our partnership. It’s a great pleasure to be back in India. Thank you very much.

QUESTION: You’re here one week after the NSA revelations that came out from Edward Snowden and the Indian government is upset over that issue. They even called in a senior diplomat to express that. Did that come up in your talks with Mr. Jaitley?

DEPUTY SECRETARY BURNS: We’re confining those discussions to diplomatic channels right now. We understand the concerns that have been raised and we’ll deal with them professionally. But we also want to look ahead, as I said, in all the areas of promise in our partnership that I mentioned. That’s very much the spirit of the conversations I had with my Indian colleagues today. Thank you.

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