US-India ties progressed in past 15 years, says Indian diplomat
Washington: The ties between India and the US have made great progress in the past 15 years, particularly in the defence and economic sectors, a top Indian diplomat here said. Santosh Jha, the deputy Indian ambassador to the US, said 25-30 years ago India’s main effort focused on keeping the US “out of the Indian Ocean, out of the Indo-Pacific.”
“(But) today, we invite the US, we exercise with them more than any other country in the world,” he said yesterday at a community reception for him hosted by the National Council of Asian Indian Association. In the defence sector, the bilateral trade has increased to $15 billion, he said.
A 1993 Indian Foreign Service official, Jha recently arrived here from New Delhi as India’s deputy ambassador. He said bilateral trade an economic relations too are beginning to change “quite dramatically”. “India last month began the first crude oil imports from this country.
We hope to take it up to about $2 billion by the middle of next year. We have made a major investments here on gas and we will be importing gas by the end of next year,” he said. Jha cited the potential of India’s civil aviation market as another sector for bilateral cooperation.
“It would come to about $15 billion a year over the next 30 years,” Jha said. He said US President Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ policy and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘New India’ vision were in sync with each other. PTI