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News ::
Cambridge ! Statement of US Ambassador to India Mr.Robert Blackwill (english)
22 Apr 2003
Modified: 04:47:52 PM
US Ambassador to India Mr.Robert Blackwill is from Cambridge , and his statement on India- US relationship

New Page 1

Statement by Ambassador
U.S. Ambassador to India


21, 2003

This past January while
in Washington, I informed President Bush, Secretary
of State Powell, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and National Security
Advisor Rice that I would be going
back to the faculty at Harvard University's John
F. Kennedy School of Government near the end of this summer to continue my
academic career.  I will thus join my illustrious colleague, John Kenneth
Galbraith, in proudly representing my country for two years as American
Ambassador to India, and then returning to Harvard to teach and to write.

It has been a special privilege to serve the President over the past four
years, first during the 2000 Presidential Campaign, and then as US
Ambassador to India.  In naming me as his envoy to this magnificent
country,President Bush did me a great honor.  I have tried to justify his
confidence by energetically promoting
his vision of India as a rising great power of
the 21st century, and his primary goal of the world's oldest and largest
democracies operating together to transform their relations, to forge
concentrated strategic collaboration for the decades ahead.

Under the leadership of President Bush and Prime Minister Vajpayee,
Washington and New Delhi have made enormous strides to achieve this aim. 
said in my Senate confirmation hearings that international peace,
prosperity and freedom would be
further advanced if the relationship between the
United States and India were
fundamentally transformed.  In partnership with an
accomplished Mission staff of Americans and Indians, I can say with
certainty that this is occurring powerfully each day between the two

Before US-India transformation began, it was rare for members of a
President's cabinet and senior American officials to visit India.  Almost
hundred have come in the past two years.  Two years ago, there were
economic sanctions applied by the
United States against India related to its 1998
nuclear tests. Today, those sanctions are long gone.  Two years ago, the
American and Indian militaries conducted no joint operations.  Today,
have completed six major training exercises, and our defense cooperation
flourishes.  American and Indian counterparts now intensively engage
a broad spectrum of other essential subjects: fighting terrorism,
diplomatic collaboration, intelligence
exchange, law enforcement, development
assistance, the global environment, HIV/AIDS and other public health
problems.  Two years ago, American and Indian policymakers did not
together the important issues of cooperative high technology trade, civil
space activity, and civilian nuclear power.  Today, all three are under
continuing bilateral discussion.  And in addition, there has been crisis
management from time to time along the way concerning tensions in South

With President Bush and Prime Minister Vajpayee showing the route and
buttressed by the Indian American community in the United States and the US
Congress, our consistently troubled bilateral past is behind us.  In my
view, close and cooperative relations between the United States and India
will thrive in the decades ahead most crucially because of the convergence
of common democratic values and vital national interests.  We have
overlapping vital national interests in promoting peace and freedom
in Asia, slowing the spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and combating
international terrorism.

With respect to the global war on terrorism, President Bush emphasizes that
this scourge threatens both our values and our interests.  As I have said
many times during my stay in India, the fight against international
terrorism will not be won until terrorism against India ends permanently.
There can be no other legitimate stance by the United States, no American
compromise whatever on this elemental geopolitical and moral truth.  The
United States, India and all civilized nations must have zero tolerance for
terrorism.  Otherwise, we sink into a swamp of moral relativism and
strategic myopia.  As was so often the case, the late Daniel Patrick
Moynihan put it best, "reason and careful moral reflection.teach us that
there are times when the first and the most important reply to evil is to
stop it."

> There is another issue on which together we have to try harder.  As
I used
to teach students in my course on strategy at Harvard University and will
soon do so again, national economic strength is a prerequisite for
diplomatic influence and military muscle.  Therefore, I hope for a robust
India economic performance in the years ahead, and for a sharp increase in
US-India trade and American investment in India.  Promoting US business
been one of my major preoccupations while Ambassador to India.

The US-India relationship has a glittering future.  To play a part in
advancing this cause under President Bush's direction has been my duty, my
pleasure and my encompassing strategic conviction.  In that context, I
particularly thank senior members of the Indian Government for their
unfailing generosity to me as I have carried out my official duties.  I
especially have in mind Prime Minister Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister
Advani, Finance Minister Singh, External Affairs Minister Sinha, Defense
Minister Fernandes, and Principal Secretary and National Security Advisor
Mishra.  I would also like to express my appreciation to the leader of
opposition, Mrs. Gandhi, for her many courtesies to me.

Around this vast land, I have met men and women of superlative talent, of
consummate entrepreneurial and political skill, individuals committed to
helping their fellow citizens.  Countless Indians from every part of
society have given me their
assistance, their views, and their hopes and dreams for
stronger bonds between our two nations.  I am grateful to them as we all
recognize that people-to-people ties are at the heart of the US-India

For my wife Wera Hildebrand and myself, getting to know something about
this fabulous country has been one of
life's pinnacles.  From North Block and
South Block to the valleys of Assam to the spare splendor of Rajasthan's
deserts and Mumbai's exuberance, from the mountains of Kashmir to the
Golden Temple to Kutch and Bangalore's
IT dynamism, all that is India compels us.

How could it not, for to quote Mark Twain,

"India is,
the cradle of the human race,
the birthplace of human speech,
the mother of history,
the grandmother of legend,
and the great grand mother of tradition.
Our most valuable and most instructive materials
in the history of man
are treasured up in India."

But we miss our five children in the United States.  We have one
there and, praise be, two more on the way.  We are attached to our home
Cambridge and to our friends in America.  Harvard beckons.  So
during this
coming New England winter, our vivid and lasting memories of India -- its
people, its culture, its beauty -- will warm us as we face the snows.

Mother India has marked us deeply and only for the better - for all time.

> "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
> nothing."
>         --- British
Parliamentarian Edmund Burke

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earl (english)
22 Apr 2003