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India to open new consulate in Seattle

Washington: With an aim to strengthen people-to-people ties between the two nations, India will be opening a new consulate in Seattle and the United States will open a new consulate at a mutually agreed location in India.

In a joint statement issued after the third major bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama, both leaders announced that the United States and India will be Travel and Tourism Partner Countries for 2017, and committed to facilitate visas for each other’s nationals.

Reflecting on the strong educational and cultural bonds between the two countries, the leaders welcomed the growing number of Indian students studying in the United States, which increased by 29 percent to nearly 133,000 students in 2014-2015, and looked forward to increased opportunities for American students to study in India.

They also appreciated their governments’ joint efforts through the Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship to develop a cohort of climate scientists to confront the shared challenge of global climate change.

Recognising mutual goal of strengthening greater people-to-people ties, the leaders intend to renew efforts to intensify dialogue to address issues affecting the citizens of both countries that arise due to differences in the approaches of legal systems, including issues relating to cross-country marriage, divorce and child custody.

Prime Minister Modi welcomed the United States’ repatriation of antiquities to India.

The leaders also committed to redouble their efforts to combat the theft and trafficking of cultural objects.

Prime Minister Modi thanked President Obama for his gracious invitation and warmth of hospitality. He extended an invitation for President Obama to visit India at his convenience. (ANI)