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Stop arguing, switch to problem solving: India to US

S. Jaishankar

Chicago, March 1 (IANS) Describing upcoming elections as “India’s defining moment”, Indian Ambassador S. Jaishankar has advised India-US interlocutors to get off public argumentation platforms and switch to a “problem-solving mode”.

“Clearly, we are approaching a defining moment where choices made would have significant implications for India of course, but for the United States and the world as well,” he said in a speech Friday at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on India’s Defining Moment.

Saying that India’s elections, its improving economy, and India-US relations were interconnected, Jaishankar suggested that any “government coming into office after general elections will naturally put nation building as its first priority”.

“Maintaining and accelerating growth will be of great significance,” he said.

“Encouraging investment, expanding manufacturing, modernizing infrastructure, enhancing skills development, upgrading technology and promoting innovation will be amongst its many facets.”

“The United States can be an indispensable partner on every score,” the ambassador said but cautioned “None of this, however, is a foregone conclusion.”

“They will only be outcomes of a relationship that is assiduously tended by constant gardeners,” he said.

“The sensible thing to do is to switch to a problem-solving mode” to iron out current wrinkles in the India-US relationship.”

“But to do that, we need to get off public argumentation platforms where we find ourselves more often than is good for our ties,” Jaishankar said noting that both sides had their own concerns.

“My sense is that India greatly values its reputation as being open to international business,” the ambassador said assuring “Concerns perceived to be legitimate will be addressed and that has actually been our recent record.”

“But it would be a mistake to pile on public pressure, especially through a misrepresentation of facts,” he warned.

“Indo-US ties need to be worked upon at different planes,” he said suggesting “there are pressing issues on the immediate agenda which require more give and take”.

“But while doing so, we must not lose sight of the larger connect that provides an enabling environment where more ambitious visions could unfold,” Jaishankar said.

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