Top Obama aide Lawrence Summers today sought to put apprehensions of a chill in Indo-US relations over Ni-liability bill, outsourcing ban and tightening of US visa-rules to rest saying that the US did not have any disagreements with India on any issue.
“I am not aware of any significant disagreements with the Indian administration around Indo-US policies,” Summers, an assistant to US president Barack Obama for economic policy and director, White House national economic council said in New Delhi.
“The United States does think of India as an important partner supporting global framework, encourage macro-economic cooperation, supporting efforts to contain state sponsored terrorism and promote global economic integration and coming from India is something that is important to the US,” he added.
He also said that President Obama’s visit to India early next month will be historic on many counts, which signifies the importance of relationship between two nations. “We will play very large roles over the reminder of this century which the US couldn’t do in the nineteenth and twentieth century…President Obama’s trip to India which he undertakes in a few days from now will be his longest so far to a foreign nation,” Summers said.
Commenting further on the impending Obama visit, he said, it is a different kind of trip and very different kind of engagement. “It is a celebration of the two heads of state - that of the US and of India, of the engagement of the societies, companies, young people, non governmental organisations (NGOs).”
Summers, however, steered clear of the contentious issues currently affecting Indo-US relations – N-liability, visa or outsourcing. In fact, through his speech he was setting the tone for Obama’s November 5-9 visit. He will first alight in Mumbai then will travel to New Delhi to hold discussions with prime minister Manmohan Singh on wide-ranging topics.
The Director of the White House National Economic Council also lavished praise on India and said it is a country which will figure more in global discussion in coming decade. “In 2040, the discussion will be less about Washington consensus or Beijing consensus, it will be about Mumbai consensus.”
Summers’ visit to India is part of the exchange of delegations between the two countries to lay out the agenda for US President India visit in November. On his five-day visit to India, Summers will also talk to key ministries in New Delhi. He visited Mumbai on Sunday.
However, Summers also known as Obama’s eyes and ears on finance has resigned from his post last month. He is expected to return to Harvard University after the mid-term elections are over in the first week of November.