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PRESS RELEASE - Ambassador Nirupama Rao meets Senator Chris Coons

Washington, DC

Ambassador Nirupama Rao met Senator Chris Coons on February 13, 2012 at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.  Senator Coons, who represents the state of Delaware in the United States Senate, is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and its Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Central Affairs, which deals with U.S. relations with India.  Senator Coons also chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, and is known for his deep understanding and interest in Africa.  He is a member of the Senate India Caucus. 

Ambassador Rao and Senator Coons spoke of the positive trajectory of the India-U.S. relations.  Ambassador Rao noted the multifaceted cooperation between the two countries focusing on development and empowerment, which covered such diverse fields as education, energy, health, agriculture, skills development, poverty alleviation, and many other areas.  Senator Coons mentioned that it was a partnership to find solutions to real problems in people’s lives.  He described India as one of the most important partners for the U.S., and welcomed the deepening of India-U.S. strategic partnership. 

The discussions also touched upon the partnerships that both India and the United States have with Africa.  Ambassador Rao gave an overview of India’s close engagement with, and investments in, Africa’s development and capacity building, through regular Summit-level dialogue with African leaders under the Africa-India Forum Summit.  

Senator Coons invited Ambassador Rao to visit the state of Delaware and expressed his interest in building closer links between Delaware and India, particularly in the field of economic, trade and people-to-people relations. He referred to the presence of a large Indian American community in Delaware as an important bridge between the United States and India. Ambassador Rao accepted the invitation, and in turn, invited Senator Coon to visit India, a visit which he agreed to undertake at a mutually convenient time.