Roemer quitting as US envoy for ‘family reasons’ (Lead)April 28th, 2011 - 8:09 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) US Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer, during whose tenure President Barack Obama made a historic visit and took India-US ties to greater heights, Thursday announced he was quitting his job for “family considerations”.
Roemer, who along with his family has loved his stay in India so far, especially Indian food like ‘naan’ and ‘dall’, the tigers of Ranthambore and beaches of Goa, said he will leave after he completes two years in June.
“When I accepted this job two years ago, I told President Obama that I would serve for two years, but that family considerations would be front and centre after that,” Roemer was quoted as saying in a statement.
The ambassador noted that he has two sons who will be leaving for college in the next 14 months and he would like his parents and in-laws to be able to spend more time with his children. He also said he had accomplished his strategic objectives set two years ago.
“For me and for my entire family, the past two years have been a time of incredible experiences, warm friendships, and meaningful partnerships,” said the ambassador.
“US-India relationship, what my friend President Obama calls the defining partnership of the 21st century, has progressed to the global stage. I am very proud to have led the team responsible for deepening and broadening the strategic partnership of this critical bilateral relationship, which is one of the cornerstones of our foreign policy.”
In an interview to NDTV, where he spoke at length about India-US ties, the ambassador said he was also leaving with the ties between the two largest democracies reaching a level that was inconceivable 10 years ago.
“I think you want to go on high note. You also want to go when strategic relationship and the partnership is going so well.”
The ambassador said in his statement that US-India relationship was on a historic trajectory that was changing the way the two nations were creating economic opportunity for citizens, educating the leaders of tomorrow, and ensuring safe and secure communities.
“The horizons of our relationship truly know no limits,” he said, and recalled what he called was a landmark 2009 visit and White House dinner honouring Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the history-making trip by Obama to India in 2010.
“President Obama committed America’s support to India for a permanent UN Security Council seat and removed nine Indian companies from the entities list. We have entered into a strategic dialogue on Afghanistan and a new joint economic partnership for capacity building.”
The ambassador said he was proud to have worked with the government of India to sign the Counterterrorism Cooperation Initiative, providing groundbreaking joint US-India work on mega-city policing, forensic lab training, intelligence sharing and sharing best government-wide practices.
He said during his tenure as ambassador, the US-India defense partnership has also expanded exponentially, and noted the sale of C130J aircraft and the pending sale of C-17s to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.
“This demonstrates our enduring commitment to sharing the world’s best technology with India. Our defense partnership offers economic benefits for both India and the United States and significant job creation in both countries.”
He said the two countries were also committed to conserving and protecting the planet’s resources as global partners and hoped in years to come, US and Indian scientists will work collaboratively in new ways to address issues such as water security, weather predictions, renewable energy, and climate change challenges.
He said ultimately people-to-people ties are the backbone of the partnership. “As ambassador I had a chance to travel with my family to all corners of this incredible and beautiful country,” he said.
“Whether I was playing basketball with Muslim girls in Lucknow, seeing a majestic tiger in Ranthambore or observing the ‘aarti’ on the banks of the mighty Ganga in Varanasi, I personally viewed how common values and interests bind our two great democracies,” he said.
“As Gandhiji said, ‘a nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.’ India has opened the doors of its schools, communities and hearts to my family. We will leave with full and grateful hearts for the many wonderful people who have welcomed us.,” he said.
“We came here as diplomats and we leave feeling part of a family.”
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Tags: ambassador, barack obama, bilateral relationship, cornerstones, democracies, family considerations, global stage, goa, high note, india relationship, indian food, meaningful partnerships, naan, ndtv, ranthambore, roemer, strategic objectives, strategic partnership, trajectory, warm friendships