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US, India announce establishment of annual Parliamentary Exchange

PTI Washington | Updated on December 20, 2019 Published on December 20, 2019

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The Parliamentary Exchange was announced as part of the final joint statement of the US-India 2+2 meeting

The United States (US) and India have announced the establishment of an annual Parliamentary Exchange to discuss issues of strategic importance to the bilateral relationship.

The US-India Parliamentary Exchange is expected to begin sometime in 2020, a press release stated on Thursday.

The announcement of the initiative, spearheaded by Congressmen Brad Sherman and George Holding -- the Co-Chairs of the House Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, coincided with the US-India 2+2 Ministerial.

“The new exchange will feature members of the India Caucus in the US and Indian parliamentarians travelling to each other’s respective countries every other year to discuss issues of strategic importance to the bilateral relationship,” the release said.

The Parliamentary Exchange was announced as part of the final joint statement of the US-India 2+2 meeting.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper hosted Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for the second 2+2 dialogue in Washington on Wednesday. Jaishankar and Singh left the US on Thursday.

“India and the US are united by more than common interests -- we are also democracies with strong legislative branches that play a critical role in our countries’ foreign policies,” Sherman said.

“With the US and India significantly strengthening our political, economic and security ties in recent decades, it’s long past time to establish a stronger connection between our legislatures to propel this relationship even further. I look forward to working with Indian Members of Parliament to achieve this outcome,” he said.

According to Holding, India is among America’s “closest and most important” allies.

“Our dynamic and wide-ranging relationship is rooted in our shared principles of freedom and democracy. The US-India Parliamentary Exchange will provide a crucial platform enabling lawmakers from both nations to develop the personal relationships and mutual understanding needed to further deepen and strengthen the alliance,” he said.

Published on December 20, 2019
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