Washington, May 13 (PTI): US President Barack Obama has said he is looking forward to working “closely” with the next government in India to make the coming years “equally transformative” for the two countries.
Obama also congratulated the people of India on the successful conclusion of the Lok Sabha polls, saying that country has set an example for the world in holding the largest democratic election in history. The nine-phase polls ended yesterday and counting of votes will take place on May 16.
“We look forward to the formation of a new government once election results are announced and to working closely with India’s next administration to make the coming years equally transformative,” Obama said in a statement yesterday.
“India has set an example for the world in holding the largest democratic election in history, a vibrant demonstration of our shared values of diversity and freedom.” he added.
In his statement, Obama also referred to the strong friendship that the two countries have developed over the last decades, cutting across party lines.
“The United States and India have developed a strong friendship and comprehensive partnership over the last two decades, which has made our citizens safer and more prosperous and which has enhanced our ability to work together to solve global challenges,” he added.
Separately, the State Department also congratulated the people of India on the successful elections and said the US was looking forward to working with the leaders chosen to advance their important partnership and to set an ambitious agenda.
“We look forward to working with the leaders chosen by the Indian people to advance this important partnership and to set an ambitious agenda,” State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference.
“We congratulate the people of India on their participation in the largest-ever free and fair democratic election in human history,” she said, hours after a record number of Indian voters concluded casting their votes yesterday..
Psaki noted that over 500 million eligible voters peacefully went to the polls over the last six weeks, often in remote or challenging locations.
“These elections are an inspiring example of the power of the democratic process in action, and the United States, like so many others around the world, has great admiration and respect for the vibrancy, diversity and resilience of India’s democracy,” she said.
India, Psaki said, continues to play a critical role in advancing prosperity, democracy and stability across the Indo-Pacific region.
“Whether we’re working together to educate the next generation of engineers and entrepreneurs or combating global challenges like climate change and violent extremism, the US-India partnership is essential to securing a brighter future for both of our peoples,” the State Department spokesperson said.
Psaki refused to comment on the results of the exit polls according to which BJP leader Narendra Modi could be the next Indian Prime Minister.
“As you know, we don’t take positions in domestic politics in India or anywhere else. As this has been election season in a large, pluralistic, multiparty democracy it’s not a surprise that it’s going to take some time to obviously process the voting and we look forward to working with the next leader,” she said.
Asked about Modi’s visa issues, Psaki said: “As you know, we don’t speak on visa acceptances, applications, etcetera, so I don’t have anything for you on that.”
“We view our relationship with India as one that’s vitally important for economic, strategic reasons, and one that we look forward to continuing to grow in the future,” she added.