Mumbai: US ambassador Garcetti praises city's culture and diversity, draws parallels with Los Angeles on his maiden visit

Mumbai: US ambassador Garcetti praises city's culture and diversity, draws parallels with Los Angeles on his maiden visit

Interacting with the media at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Colaba, with the Gateway of India in the backdrop, Garcetti reminisced about his visit to the city as a 14-year-old.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Thursday, May 18, 2023, 11:12 AM IST
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Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais presenting a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to US Ambassador Eric Garcetti | Twitter

During his first official visit to Maharashtra, US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti highlighted the increasing cooperation between the US and India. He mentioned that this collaboration not only reflects the values that have made both nations strong, but also strengthens those values in the region and globally. Interacting with the media at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Colaba, with the Gateway of India in the backdrop, Garcetti reminisced about his visit to the city as a 14-year-old.

Bilateral trade, education, and military collaboration strengthen US-India ties

"The US is now India's biggest trading partner with $191 billion in bilateral trades last year. India is the source of most students studying in the US as compared to other countries. Our militaries are training together and we are protecting the Indo-Pacific that is free and open, connected, prosperous, secure and resilient so our nations can not only embody the values that make us strong but we can buttress them in this region and across the world together," said Garcetti. 

Garcetti expressed the shared hope of the United States and India for stability to be restored in Pakistan. He emphasised the importance of the rule of law and peaceful conditions prevailing in the neighboring country, especially considering its growing proximity to China. "The US, India and the world share the same concerns with Pakistan. We want stability there. We will stay engaged with Pakistan and hope and pray that the rule of law and peace prevail. We will stand for these values and it is up to the people there," said Garcetti. 

Garcetti draws parallels between Mumbai and Los Angeles, praises the city's culture and diversity

He spoke highly of Mumbai city and drew constant parallels between Mumbai and Los Angeles where he had been Mayor. "The city has changed a lot but the people, culture and pride of Mumbai hasn't changed. Mumbai is not just a Maharashtra city, Indian city but also a great global city. Culture thrives here, creativity is celebrated and diversity is the foundation of the strength, economy and people here," said Garcetti, who visited many iconic places in the city and interacted with personalities from politics, Bollywood, sports and trade industry. 

"Being a Mayor of Los Angeles, Mumbai was a sister city. There was a  relationship between Hollywood and Bollywood. We think alike, we act alike. Mumbai is the embodiment of Indian values just like Los Angeles of western values. There is a diversity of temple, mosque, synagogue, fire temple - so many religions, but still it is one city. Culture makes people dream and this is a dream factory. Bollywood makes people dream, Hollywood makes people dream. I visited Mani Bhavan where Mahatma Gandhi lived, changed history not just for his country but inspired the world. I also visited the Ambani Centre," said the US Ambassador. 

Partnership with India to focus on long-term goals, driven by city, climate, and culture

Garcetti informed that upcoming visits by the Indian PM to the US will increase the partnership and set long-term goals and not just the short term ones. City, climate and culture, he said, will be the driving factors for growth and progress. Citing Sant Tukaram to drive home the point of climate being a crucial component to development, he said, "Sant Tukaram said green spaces are central to our lives. We need to have growth in a way that we have clean water, less traffic, clean air to breathe." 

On food, Garcetti quipped that the wada pav was certainly better than in Delhi. "I am glad the chief minister of Maharashtra not just served but made me eat it. It was 'chef's kiss' as we say it," said he said. 

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