It is a great to be back in India in advance of, COVID-permitting, Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Esper’s important 2+2 ministerial with Minister Jaishankar and Minister Singh later this year. And it is a great pleasure to attend this virtual India-U.S. Forum. With more than two decades of personal engagement and friendship with so many of you participating in this evening’s forum, I must say to you that I have never been more optimistic regarding the future possibilities of the India-U.S. relationship. I want to thank especially my friend and counterpart Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla, as well as Jamshyd Godrej, Kiran Pasricha, and the team at the Ananta Centre for organizing today’s discussion. And finally, warm regards to my old friends Minister Jaishankar and Ambassador Ken Juster. Thank you all.
As President Trump’s discussions with Prime Minister Modi highlighted earlier this year, our partnership is now truly comprehensive. Our deep, historic ties and close collaboration span a number of realms, including defense and security cooperation, mutual law enforcement support, trade and investment ties, energy partnership, scientific and technological collaboration, educational links, strengthening and reforming international organizations, and perhaps most critically this past year—unprecedented levels of cooperation to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Several of our universities and companies are working together on coronavirus vaccine trials, and India’s vital role in global vaccine research will ensure our two countries remain on the cutting edge of responding to future health crises.
For three decades, each successive U.S. administration has successfully built upon and deepened the accomplishments of its predecessor in our relations with India. I am confident that, regardless of the outcome of our presidential election next month, the vital partnership between the United States and India will continue and deepen over the decades to come. The pressing question before our two governments today is what do we build on that increasingly solid foundation? I would like to offer a few thoughts from the United States’ perspective as we launch this discussion.
NOTE: this is NOT the complete release.