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Embarking on a Dream: US Ambassador Garcetti Envisions the Unleashed Potential of Indo-US Relations

NEW DELHI: On Wednesday, US Ambassador Eric Garcetti delivered a speech at an event held at IIT-Delhi, where he expressed that India and the US have the potential to collaborate in resisting "coercion" and join forces in the Indo-Pacific region to ensure the freedom of skies and seas. This statement comes amid mounting concerns over China's increasing military activities in the area. Garcetti highlighted the prospects of deepening co-production of military equipment between the two countries, specifically mentioning aero-engines, artillery, and ground vehicles as examples of collaborative ventures.

Addressing the issue of human rights, the ambassador assured that the US would continue engaging with India on this matter, just as it does with all countries worldwide. He invoked Mahatma Gandhi's words, stating that the ability to achieve unity in diversity will be a testament to the beauty and strength of their civilization. Garcetti emphasized that India and the US possess the power to construct a more peaceful world together and serve as a united front against the mentality of "might makes right," implicitly referencing China.

The ambassador remarked that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent state visit to Washington solidified the notion that the India-US partnership is rapidly progressing with undeniable impact. He emphasized the importance of setting higher ambitions in the relationship and striving to achieve them, encapsulating his sentiment with the Hindi phrase "Sapne sakar karna" (making dreams into reality). Garcetti emphasized the ability to resist coercion and make choices collectively, as well as the potential for joint maritime security efforts, including deploying ships in the Pacific and Indian oceans and beyond. Furthermore, he envisioned coordinating land-force exercises across regions to strengthen the defense capabilities of partner countries.

Recalling Modi's visit, Garcetti described it as a celebration of the India-US ties. He applauded the warm welcome and the incorporation of Indian influences in the menus during the visit. The ambassador highlighted the pride felt by Indian-Americans, recognizing their significant place in the US-India story. Garcetti expressed that the visit left a lasting impression, with gratitude towards the Prime Minister and the Indian delegation for their graciousness.

Garcetti reiterated that the US and India are better positioned to achieve positive outcomes when working together for peace, prosperity, and the planet. He referenced the powerful idea put forth by Prime Minister Modi that the current era should not be defined by war, and he emphasized the need to carefully build and nurture lasting peace. Regarding human rights, Garcetti stated that the US would continue engaging on these issues, reiterating Vice President Kamala Harris's call to not only possess democracy but also defend it.

The ambassador believed that the idea of India and the US dreaming and succeeding together is an unbeatable combination. He expressed hope for future collaboration between the two nations across various regions, extending from the Pacific to the Atlantic and from Central Asia to Southern Africa. In the defense production sector, Garcetti emphasized the benefits of co-production, noting that it allows for the creation of state-of-the-art systems at sustainable costs and resilient supply chains for India, the US, and their partners. The announcements made during Modi's visit were seen as setting a benchmark and highlighting the tremendous potential in this sector.

Garcetti stressed the importance of trust between the militaries of both countries, suggesting that it should be institutionalized through increased human interaction, communication, and interoperability. Furthermore, as interoperability is achieved on land, sea, and air, he envisioned advancing the partnership into new frontiers such as outer space and cyberspace. Turning to the visa issue, the ambassador expressed the desire to eliminate barriers preventing qualified travelers from experiencing the United States. He noted that the US mission in India is currently processing visas at an unprecedented pace and has set a goal to process at least a million visas in 2023, having already made

 significant progress towards that target.

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