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PRESS RELEASE - Ambassador Rao Visits Orange County in Los Angeles, California at the Invitation of HFAC Chairman Ed Royce

Ambassador Nirupama Rao visited Orange County in the vicinity of Los Angeles, California on September 14, 2013 at the invitation of the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Ed Royce, who represents that district in the United States Congress.
            As one of the most well-respected leaders on foreign policy in the U.S. Congress, Chairman Royce has been an ardent supporter of India and India-U.S. relations, and one of the earliest protagonists of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, which he has co-chaired in the past on more than one occasion. He continues to be an active member and a leading voice of the Caucus.
            Speaking at a welcome gathering of local leaders and the Indian American community hosted in her honour by the former Mayor of Anaheim, Mr. Harry Sidhu, Ambassador Rao thanked Chairman Royce and Mrs. Marie Royce for their invitation, saying that she counted them among her closest friends in the United States.
            Ambassador Rao described the "great resurgence" in India-U.S. ties as a partnership in a "state of irreversible excellence" and "with its sights firmly set on the future".  She praised Chairman Royce\'s personal contribution in this transformation, calling him "one of the greatest champions and pioneers of the India-U.S. Strategic Partnership." She spoke of the "natural affinity" between the peoples of the two countries, who she said were at the heart of this partnership spanning from defense cooperation and counter-terrorism to trade, innovation, technology and education. Ambassador Rao affirmed that geopolitical shifts in the world made India and the U.S. "natural partners in the advancement of common goals of peace, prosperity and development for all of humanity".
            In his welcome remarks, Chairman Royce praised Ambassador Rao\'s untiring efforts to promote India-U.S. cooperation in diverse fields.  He reflected on the role of the India Caucus in the transformation of India-U.S. relations over the last two decades, which he described as "phenomenal" and "based on same interests and values". Chairman Royce counted deepening of India-U.S. trade relations and counter-terrorism cooperation among his priorities. He commended the role of the Indian American community in building closer India-U.S. partnership with their talent and determination.
            The California State Senator Mimi Walters also joined the event to welcome Ambassador Rao.
            Later that afternoon, the American Women for International Understanding (AWIU) hosted Ambassador Rao for a discussion on recent developments in India and India-U.S. relations. AWIU is a non-government organization which has been working on promoting awareness and understanding on issues facing women through worldwide delegations and international networking. During the discussion moderated by Mrs. Marie Royce, Ambassador Rao answered questions on women\'s empowerment, economy, education and technology, as well as foreign policy issues in India\'s neighborhood.