Public diplomacy with India extremely important: US
By Arun Kumar, Washington, Feb 5 : As John Kerry began his term as the new Secretary of State, the US said people-to-people and public diplomacy relations with India are extremely important going forward.
Kerry had yet to make any calls to his Indian or Pakistani counterparts, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland reporters Monday. But a senior official was in New Delhi to highlight the breadth and depth of the US-India people to people relationship.
"Obviously people-to-people and public diplomacy relations with India are extremely important going forward," she said.
Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine, who would be in New Delhi Feb 5-7, was likely to discuss issue like rapes and violence against women, she said.
"She almost always has broad, public meetings of one kind or another when she travels, makes an effort to reach out to the public," Nuland said.
"So given that this issue is very much on the minds of Indians, I'm sure it will come up in the context of her visit."
Earlier, a state department media note said Sonenshine's "visit to India will highlight the breadth and depth of the US-India people to people relationship, particularly our strong educational partnership."
Sonenshine will meet Indian officials to discuss US-India education collaboration.
She will lead the US delegation to the Government of India conference "Mainstreaming Skills in Education" on Feb 6-7, where she will deliver remarks on US support for India's development of community colleges and the expansion of skills development education.
The US delegation to this international conference will include representatives from twelve community colleges.
Sonenshine will also meet with Fulbright-Nehru scholars and will tour Indian historical preservation projects that receive funding from the Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)