Thank you. It is wonderful to be back here at Roosevelt House. And I know that the ambassador was being absolutely accurate when she talked about the stellar team that she inherited upon her arrival here three weeks ago. But I’m also confident that under her excellent leadership this team will be doing even more to merit the kind of reputation that you deservedly have. The high bar that Ambassador Burleigh set will be certainly met or exceed by the high bar that Ambassador Powell sets. Now, I think this is reflected in what some of you might have seen on the dance floor when I think Peter and Nancy certainly demonstrated diplomacy in action. (Laughter.)
I also want to recognize your excellent DCM. Where is he? There he is. Thank you so much, DCM Lu. He makes Embassy Delhi a special place to be with themed New Year’s Eve parties, summer movie nights, and I’m told killer Don Draper impressions. (Laughter.)
But for me, coming back here after my very first visit 17 years ago is really extraordinarily poignant. This is such an important relationship. Managing the ties between our two giant, contentious democracies can seem a little unwieldy at times, but you are doing a superb job. Thank you for your work. You’ve been preparing for the Strategic Dialogue. You’ve also maintained over 20 of our ongoing dialogues between our two governments, involving every agency here at post. That takes a lot of teamwork and coordination. It can be difficult at an embassy this big, but it’s really paying off. We have helped to focus and coordinate all of our many government-to-government, people-to-people initiatives.
I also thank you for your community outreach and the community work that you are doing. I appreciate the extraordinary councilor work. This is the most challenging of your work because so many Indians want to come to the United States, particular visas, particular times. We have 100,000 students currently from India studying in the United States. And you have all balanced and managed this beautifully.
So I appreciate greatly everything that you do every single day, and I especially am grateful for the extra work that goes into a visit like this, especially one that includes two cities. So we are well aware of everything that you do every day and then the extra work that comes when somebody like I show up.
And Nancy, thank you for including Eleanor in the Roosevelts. That is something that I think is well deserved. I’m always quoting her, so it’s nice to have her recognized. And the book that she wrote that Nancy just referenced is really something about her travels through South Asia. It’s quite a read. I have – I don’t think I’ve been anywhere in the world that Eleanor Roosevelt had not already been to. I’m still waiting to show up in a place where they say you’re the first woman who was ever a first lady that came to this country or visited here, because Mrs. Roosevelt was indefatigable.
So at this very well named house representing the values and the leadership of the United States, as we continue to chart the way forward in this most important relationship, I’m grateful to all of the Americans who served. And I’m especially grateful to our locally employed staff, all of our Indian employees. Because I am well aware that ambassadors come and go, and secretaries of state come and go, and political officers and councilor officers come and go, but it’s our locally employed staff who provide the continuity, who are here year in and year out, helping to train ambassadors and others of us. And we are very appreciative for the role that you’re playing.
So let’s continue to move forward and make this relationship even broader and deeper than it already is. And please know that those of us in Washington follow what you do with great interest and are very proud to be working with you. Thank you all. (Applause.)