US bill for inter-parliamentary exchange with India moved

May 19th, 2009 - 11:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh By Arun Kumar
Washington, May 19 (IANS) A bill calling for an annual meeting between political leaders from India and the United States for discussion on common issues of interest in their relations was Tuesday introduced in the US House of Representatives.

The mover Democrat Jim McDermott, one of the founders and current co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, said the US-India Inter-parliamentary Exchange Act of 2009 is “intended to further strengthen and unite the world’s oldest and the world’s largest Democracies.”

“India is one of our most important allies and creating an exchange Programme between members of the US Congress and representatives of India’s Parliament will only deepen our ties and lead to greater understanding between our countries,” McDermott said. “Understanding among nations is the path to stability, security and peace in the world.”

While the legislation was being prepared over the last two months, McDermott said he decided to introduce it now as a congratulatory note to India after its historic elections that concluded over the weekend.

“I’ve known Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for many years and consider him to be a close friend, and this legislation is meant to begin a new chapter in the relationship between our nations,” he said.

The bill is modeled after the existing US-Japan Legislative Exchange Programme, which McDermott has chaired since its formation in the early 1990s.

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