On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to be here at this beautiful residence to celebrate India’s 65th Republic Day. Thank you, Ambassador Jaishankar and Madam Kyoko for graciously hosting and sharing this wonderful day with all of us. On this icy winter day, I want to extend a very warm welcome to all of you.
And, of course, we all want to welcome Ambassador Jaishankar back to Washington. While he may be newly arrived here as the Ambassador, he already has a very long and distinguished history of strengthening the partnership between our two nations. I look forward to working together with him to continue those efforts.
India’s Republic Day reminds us of the strength of India’s democratic institutions and traditions. And it also reminds us of the strength of the ties between our people and our governments. As we often say, we have a strategic partnership between the oldest and the largest democracies in the world.
We have a broad range of joint efforts and shared interests that keep propelling us forward. Our space cooperation has given Indian farmers better weather forecasts; our homeland security dialogue has made our countries safer from terrorist attacks; our health initiatives have enhanced our ability to detect dangerous pathogens that threaten all people; our work on climate and energy issues has generated billions in funding for clean initiatives; our close cooperation on education brings faculty and researchers from India into U.S. universities, and facilitates scholarly exchanges; and our strong trade and investment ties fight poverty and drive growth in both countries. We have reached close to $100 billion in bilateral trade each year – numbers that we expect to see increase in the coming years.
Beyond our bilateral relations, we are strong partners in building an international framework to underpin continued peace and prosperity. Our regional dialogues, including the U.S.-India-Japan trilateral exchange and the ASEAN Regional Forum, have helped develop a shared vision for stability in Asia and the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
The bottom line is that this partnership is broad and it is strong.
And, I have no doubt that under the Ambassador’s leadership this relationship will continue to grow for the benefit of all our people.
Mr. Ambassador, it is a pleasure for me to convey the Secretary’s congratulations on this celebration of Republic Day. He and I, and all of our colleagues at the State Department, are excited to work with you to advance this vital partnership.
Thank you very much for inviting me here today.