NEW YORK, Jan. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC heralded President Obama's visit to India as a significant step in furthering relations between the world's oldest and largest democracies.
"President Obama's visit opens a new chapter in U.S.-India relations, and a new era for India in global affairs," said Jason Isaacson, AJC Associate Executive Director for Policy, who has traveled to India regularly on AJC's behalf over the past 20 years.
Obama's visit, his second as president, came on India's Republic Day, commemorating the day in 1950 when the post-partition democratic Constitution came into force. The president was feted as the chief guest of honor on this holiday – a first for a U.S. president. His visit follows on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the White House last September.
AJC praised this week's achievements, including the breaking of the impasse on civil nuclear cooperation between the two nations, a goal AJC has shared since the signing of the United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act in 2006. AJC actively supported the follow-on legislation for bilateral civil nuclear cooperation, enacted in 2008.
Obama and Modi also renewed a 10-year defense pact, and agreed on the promotion of clean energy sources and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
For more than two decades AJC has engaged with successive Indian governments, civil society figures and Indian American leaders to advance the expansion of ties between India and the U.S. – as well as between India and Israel.
AJC leadership delegations led by President Stanley Bergman, Isaacson and AJC Asia Pacific Institute Director Shira Loewenberg visited New Delhi twice in 2014, meeting with senior government officials. In addition, Bergman and other AJC leaders met with Prime Minister Modi in New York last September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Through its Asia Pacific Institute, founded in 1989, AJC has been actively engaged with India, and maintains close ties with Indian officials and other representatives in New Delhi, across the United States, in Israel, and other countries. Earlier this month, AJC announced the appointment of a new representative, Arjun Hardas, in New Delhi to help maintain and strengthen these relations.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee