"I look forward to returning to India soon and echo President Obama's invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit the United States at the earliest opportunity."
By Arun Kumar

Washington, May 20 - Declaring that the US was deeply invested in its strategic relationship with India, Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday said that Washington was ready to work closely with India's Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi.

The friendship between the world's oldest democracy and the world's largest democracy is absolutely vital, he said in a statement congratulating the Bharatiya Janata Party and Modi, whom it had shunned for over a decade.

Noting that the voice of the Indian electorate is clear and unequivocal, Kerry said: The United States stands ready to work closely with Prime Minister Modi and the new government to promote shared prosperity and strengthen our security.

The US, Kerry said, is deeply invested in our strategic relationship and looked forward to strengthening our partnership based on common values, shared democratic traditions, and the binding ties between our peoples.

Washington has been behind its European partners in reaching out to Modi, whose US visa was revoked in 2005 for his alleged role during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

But a direct invitation from President Barack Obama in a congratulatory call to candidate Modi last Friday after BJP's resounding victory finally ended Washington's boycott of the BJP leader.

Kerry said he looked forward to visiting India again soon and echo Obama's invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit the United States at the earliest opportunity.

Text of Kerry's statement:

I offer my congratulations to the Bharatiya Janata Party on their resounding victory in India's historic national election, and to Narendra Modi on his election as Prime Minister of India. I also extend warm congratulations to all the newly-elected parliamentarians.

When the people of India hold the biggest democratic election in human history, all the world tunes in to watch. And what we saw has been nothing short of remarkable: more voters cast their ballots freely and fairly than any other in world history, with over 530 million Indians going to the polls.

The voice of the Indian electorate is clear and unequivocal in its call for economic opportunity and effective governance for all.

The United States stands ready to work closely with Prime Minister Modi and the new government to promote shared prosperity and strengthen our security.

The friendship between the world's oldest democracy and the world's largest democracy is absolutely vital, and the United States is deeply invested in our strategic relationship.

We look forward to strengthening our partnership based on common values, shared democratic traditions, and the binding ties between our peoples.

Every time I visit India, I'm struck by the vibrancy of your culture, the energy of your youth, and the strength of your democratic institutions.

I look forward to returning to India soon and echo President Obama's invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit the United States at the earliest opportunity.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])


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