Happy New Year, India! On behalf of the people of the United States of America, I wish you peace and prosperity for the coming year.
Before I arrived in India as the American Ambassador, I introduced myself in a video whose theme was “Looking Forward.” During the subsequent months, the U.S. Mission has been engaged in not only looking forward but in joining our Indian partners in moving forward. We have joined together on behalf of the children of the world in A Global Call to Action on Child Survival; we have neared the $100 billion mark in two-way trade in goods and services; police chiefs from both of our countries sat together to share their experiences and to look to greater cooperation; we have had deep and fruitful consultations at the highest levels on resolving some of the world’s crises; and via your Mars Orbiter Mission, whose launch I was privileged to watch, we boosted our relationship to a whole new world. The documentation of our cooperation and collaboration is long and reflects the deepening and broadening of our relationship.
Alongside these impressive developments, this forward movement has been jolted by very different reactions to issues involving one of your consular officers and her domestic worker. I join Secretary Kerry in expressing our regret for the circumstances of the consular officer’s arrest, but we believe that we can look forward to continuing to expand our bilateral relations. I look forward to increasing trade and investment that creates jobs in both countries, including civilian nuclear cooperation; to continuing consultations on Afghanistan and other key international issues to protect both of our interests in the region; to expanding counter-terrorism and law enforcement cooperation; and to encouraging more travel in both directions by students, business representatives, and our citizens.
I look forward in 2014 to joining with you in celebrating the multiple ways our two great nations can continue to build both a stronger and broader partnership. Happy New Year.
[Note: available on video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY3Q0J4xJLg]