At the invitation of the U.S. Senator Chris Coons from Delaware and Congressman Joe Crowley from New York, Ambassador Nirupama Rao visited the state of Delaware and New York City on May 1 and 2, during which she met several high-level officials, addressed public events and interacted with the Indian American community.
Senator Coons is a member of the Senate India Caucus. He also serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and its Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Central Affairs, which deals with U.S. relations with India. He had invited Ambassador Rao to explore deeper trade, business, academic and people-to-people exchanges between India and the state of Delaware.
The visit included a multifaceted program at the University of Delaware, Newark, where Ambassador Rao gave a keynote address on India-U.S. relations, and interacted with the faculty and students. She praised the University for its excellent research traditions and for building bridges of understanding between India and the U.S. that included more than twenty active collaborative endeavors with Indian counterparts, making a difference in the lives of common people through advances in areas such as agriculture, drinking water, health and clean energy.
Senator Coons also introduced to Ambassador Rao a group of prominent agriculturists, poultry farmers and business representatives of Delaware, with whom she discussed opportunities to expand business linkages, including technology transfer and capacity building in agro-industry, and poultry. Delaware is considered the cradle of poultry industry in the U.S. The interaction was attended by the U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture, Mr. Michael Escuse, who is from Delaware and earlier served as the state’s Secretary of Agriculture. Ambassador Rao was also given a tour of the Avian Biosciences Centre located in the University of Delaware.
Ambassador Rao met with the Governor of Delaware, Jack Markell in the state’s capital city of Dover in the afternoon of May 1. Governor Markell expressed keen interest in building a robust engagement with India and noted that he planned to lead a delegation from Delaware to India later this year. During that meeting, the senior U.S. Senator from Delaware, Senator Tom Carper and Delaware’s Secretary of State, Jeffery Bullock also joined. Senator Carper recalled his visit to India in April last year when he travelled there as part of a Congressional delegation. Secretary Bullock, who had just returned from India from an exploratory visit, exuded confidence about India-U.S. partnership, and referred to “immense potential” for cooperation derived from their shared values and interests.
At New York, Ambassador Rao attended a welcome event on May 2 at Jackson Heights, Queens chaired by Congressman Joe Crowley and hosted by the local community. Congressman Crowley is the Co-chair of House India Caucus and represents the people of Queens and Bronx – districts with a large concentration of Indian American community. Ambassador Rao thanked the organizers for the welcome and praised the contribution of the Indian American community in promoting India-U.S. relations. Congressman Crowley said he believed that India-U.S. partnership was one of the most significant partnerships for the U.S. in the 21st century and expressed his commitment to work with Ambassador Rao to take it to higher levels.