The US Ambassador to India Richard Verma has completed a tour of the Northeastern states and has discussed India’s Act-East policy with leaders from the region to usher in progress. Barring Mizoram, Verma has toured all the States in the last one-and-a-half months. ‘This was the first such trip by a United States ambassador,’ said a US Embassy spokesperson.
This could be a key outcome of the ‘strategic partnership’ between US and India, and Verma’s visit has not been affected by the transitional phase in American administration. ‘This is a testimony to the fact that the change in administration does not impact US government’s priorities towards us. These are positive signs in the transition phase (we) will have to see how things develop hereafter,’ a source in the Indian government said.
In fact, this is being seen as the first such example of the change in administration from a Democratic President to a Republican Presidency under Donald Trump – in which there is broad bipartisan support towards strengthening ties with India.
Verma visited Meghalaya, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura from November 29 to December 3. During the visits, he met separately with Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal, Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh, Nagaland CM T R Zeliang, and Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy and CM Manik Sarkar.
Discussions on how to boost regional connectivity projects and cross-border trade to complement India’s Act-East policy, were among the priorities that were discussed with the Chief Ministers. ‘This visit (has) also helped lay the groundwork for the upcoming Indo-Asia Connectivity for Shared Prosperity Conference in Kolkata (on) December 14-15.’ said a US embassy spokesperson.
Source: The Indian Express