As US President Barack Obama is all set to begin his unprecedented second trip to India today, a prominent lawmaker accompanying him said the relationship between the world's two largest democracies would only move forward from here.
"India-US relationship will not go backward, would only move forward," United States Congressman and former co-chair of Congressional Caucus on India and Indian- Americans, Joe Crowley, told yesterday.
Apart from Crowley, Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera and Senator Mark Warner will be part of the delegation travelling to New Delhi where they will attend Republic Day events and meet with Indian leaders to discuss strengthening and expanding the US-India strategic partnership.
"It is a historic opportunity to join the President on his second unprecedented trip to India, and be part of the official delegation and travel on Air Force One," said Crowley, who is known as a long-term friend of India.
"The genuine personal relationship that was stuck up between the President and Prime Minister Modi was not insignificant. I think there is a lot of commonality that we face very similar issues including challenges we have in the world in terms of global terrorism, fundamentalism.
"India and the United States have shared interest in information sharing and co-operation in security. We have a continued developed relationship militarily in terms of joint exercises. We are moving towards more opening up in terms of trade and market in India and vice versa," said Crowley.
"I talk often of the fact that the middle class population in India is larger than the entire population of the United States," he said.
"Obama is moving that relationship even closer and closer together. This is recognition that this relationship is at a new level in one that will no go backward and will only go forward," said Crowley.
Acknowledging that there have been some hiccups on both sides on the civilian nuclear deal, Crowley exuded confidence that the contentious issues would be resolved soon.
"It has to be done right and correct with the co-operation of both governments. We are heading in the right direction. It is going to happen. It's a question of when and if," he said.
Obama is going to India for the second time which is worth the symbolism of the advancement of the relationship between the two countries, Crowley said.
"We recognise our shared position in the world as I mentioned on cyber security, national security and defense these are all these issues that are opening up more business and opportunities between the two nations," he said.
He said the Indian-American diaspora has played a key role in advancing bilateral ties and they would continue to do so.
"Creation of the India Caucus comes directly out of the Diaspora. It is demanding that greater co-operation and attention between the two nations," Crowley added.