US-India Global Review

9 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW JANUARY-MARCH 2018 Defining Our Relationship With India For The Next Century S o first, let me wish everyone a happy Diwali to all our friends in the United tates, in India, around the world who are celebrating the Festival of Lights. Generally, fireworks accom- pany that. I don’t need any fireworks; I’m getting too many fireworks around me already. (Laughter.) So we’ll forgo the fireworks. My relationship with India dates back to about 1998, so almost 20 years now, when I began working on issues related to India’s energy security. And I’ve had many trips to the coun- try, obviously, over those many years. And it was a real privilege to do business with the Indian counterparts then, and it’s been a great honor this year to work with the Indian leaders as Secretary of State. And I do look forward to returning to Delhi next week for the first time in my official capacity. This visit could not come at a more promising time for U.S.-Indian relations and the U.S.-India partnership. As many of you know, this year marks the 70th anniver- sary of relations between our two countries. When President Truman welcomed then-Prime Minister Nehru on his visit to Washington, he said, and I quote, “Destiny willed that our country should have been discovered in the search for a new route to yours.” I hope your visit, too, will be in a sense of discovery of the United States of America. The Pacific and the Indian Oceans have linked our nations for centuries. Francis Scott Key wrote what would become our national anthem while sitting aboard the HMS Minden, a ship that was built in India. As we look to the next 100 years, it is vital that the Indo-Pacific, a region so central to our shared history, continue to be free and open, and that’s really the theme of my remarks to you this morning. President Trump and Prime Minister Modi are committed, more than any other leaders before them, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's landmark speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., Oct. 18. ON THE RECORD