Washington, DC – US Vice President Joe Biden met with Indian American Community leaders on Wednesday (July 17) in The Eisenhower Executive Office Building ceremonial office, situated next to the White House, to discuss the bilateral relationship between the US and India before his departure for a trip to India and Singapore.
Commenting on the meeting, a White House official told India America Today, “Late yesterday afternoon, the Vice President met with Indian American leaders to discuss his upcoming trip to India. The Vice President emphasized the Administration’s ongoing commitment to the Asia-Pacific region and the importance of our bilateral relationship with India.”
“He also highlighted the valuable role that Indian Americans can play in enhancing the US-India relationship and the unique perspective they bring to issues of concern to both Indian Americans and Indians, such as business and trade, education, climate change and energy, and empowering women and girls,” the official added.
An earlier communiqué from the White House announcing the visit of VP Biden, along with his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, to India and Singapore, described the upcoming visit as one where the Vice President “will meet with key leaders to discuss the full range of bilateral, regional and global issues, with a focus on advancing the prosperity, security, and shared values of our two countries.”
“The Vice President and Dr. Biden look forward to opportunities to engage with India’s people, including leaders in business and civil society,” said the statement.
Present at the July 17 meeting held before Biden’s trip to India were: Ajay Banga, Chairman of the US India Business Council (USIBC) and President & CEO of MasterCard Worldwide; Maya Ajmera, Founder of The Global Fund for Children; Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of World Resources Institute; Dinyar Devitre, Chairman-Elect of Pratham USA; Mallika Dutt, President and CEO of Breakthrough; Rajiv Ghatalia, Chairman of Clean Power Finance; Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF; Sonal Shah, Senior Fellow of Case Foundation; and Amita Vyas, Founder of Global India Fund.
Due to arrive in New Delhi on Monday, July 22 where he will spend two days, Biden is scheduled to meet with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He is also expected to hold talks with Vice President M. Hamid Ansari and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will call on him.
Biden flies to Mumbai on Wednesday to attend a couple of events on business and education. The US Vice President and his team leaves for Singapore for the last leg of his trip on Thursday night.
Relations between the two democracies have been warming up in recent times; Secretary of State John Kerry was in Delhi last month for an annual strategic dialogue, while President Barack Obama visited India in late 2010 along with Michelle Obama.