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Chennai, July 13 (ANI): The United States and India have established important mechanisms to discuss disagreements, said Ambassador Richard Verma on Monday.

Addressing students and faculty of IIT-Madras here, Ambassador Verma said, “For all that we have in common, we are not the same countries, nor do we aspire to be. There is bound to be some dissonance in our partnership. But what I have seen – and what I will continue to work on – is that we are talking at all levels and on a regular basis – not only on those areas that unite us, but on those areas that may continue to divide us.”

“And, this is the hallmark of a durable and mature partnership. That’s why all these dialogues and working groups are so important – they help regularise our relationship, they build trust, and they help provide an outlet when disputes may arise, and that’s a good thing,” he added.

“This has worked in practice over the past nine months – we solved our longstanding dispute on liability in the civil nuclear arrangement through the US/India contact group; we negotiated a way forward to India’s food security concerns at the WTO; we not only averted a stalemate at the Montreal Protocol discussions on HFCs, we are now working constructively with India on their proposal to reduce HFCs; and on intellectual property, we have been able to voice our concerns through the trade policy forum and even weigh in and provide feedback on India’s overhaul of its IP policy. When we talk and engage on the full spectrum of issues, we can get important things done,” he stated further.

“So, we will continue to work with our Indian counterparts on improving the ease of doing business, protecting intellectual property, and seeing that more sectors of the economy are open for investment. And we will continue to use the mechanisms we’ve developed with our friends and colleagues in India to bolster civil society, free speech and inclusive governance,” Ambassador Verma said.

He also said individuals in both countries continue to make important advances across so many sectors that draw them together

“The American and Indian people are at the heart of our strategic partnership. Thousands of Indians have participated in professional and academic exchanges with American citizens, and a growing and active Diaspora in the U.S. continues to build personal connections. These relationships have brought our countries closer together in ways governments alone cannot achieve. I speak to Americans and Indians everyday who are making a difference to both our countries. And I’m meeting more today here at IIT-Madras,” he said.

Ambassador Verma said that over three million Indian Americans contribute every day to the prosperity and success of the United States.

He referred to Indian Americans like Governor Nikki Haley from South Carolina and astronaut Sunita Williams being at the forefront of the news.

He talked of the over 100,000 Indian students studying in the United States, and of Americans in India working side by side with their counterparts on health, development, human rights, and science and technology, and space cooperation.

“I was privileged to visit the hometown of my mother and grandmother (in Punjab), and also give the commencement speech where my father graduated from college 64 years ago,” he recalled.

He concluded by saying, “The bottom line is we are stronger together. The two largest democracies, operating together, can bring greater peace and prosperity to the world. That’s why we are so committed to driving forward on all aspects of this relationship.” (ANI)

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