US Bipartisan Lawmakers Meet PM Modi, Dalai Lama in India

US Congressional Delegation calls on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi

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New Delhi/Dharamsala – US House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi led a bipartisan delegation to India to discuss bilateral relations and regional security issues with the top leadership there.

After meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (May 11), Pelosi said, “Our bipartisan delegation was pleased to meet with Prime Minister Modi, where we had a productive conversation on the importance of the US-India relationship and the shared values which bind our two countries.”

Pelosi added, “We exchanged views on our security cooperation and the terrorist threat, India’s leadership addressing the climate crisis, and our mutual priority of respecting the human rights of all people in our countries.”

Meeting Jaitley, other leaders

On Wednesday, the delegation met with Indian Minister for Finance and Defense Arun Jaitley, and Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. The delegation also met with civil society representatives and members of the India-US Business Council.

US Congressional Delegation with2 Modi May 2017
भारत में आपका स्वागत है! Welcome to India

“We paid our respects and gratitude to India’s inspiration to the world, Mahatma Gandhi, at his last home and expressed our gratitude for his leadership in non-violence which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also embraced,” said Pelosi on their meetings with the Indian political, social and business leaders.

Thanking the Indian officials, Pelosi said, “In our meetings with top government officials, our delegation expressed our gratitude to the government and people of India for hosting His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, and for the support of Tibetans living in India.”

Dharamsala visit

On arrival in Dharamsala, the bipartisan Congressional delegation members were granted an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The bipartisan delegation and His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Public Felicitation Ceremony at the Tsuglagkhang Temple:Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi with Dalai Lama

After meeting the Tibetan leader, Pelosi said in a statement, “We thank His Holiness for the honor of receiving us. Our delegation came in His Holiness’ spirit of faith and peace, and we’re pleased to once again affirm our commitment to the Tibetan people, to their faith, their culture and their language.”

Nancy Pelosi with Dalai Lama May 2017

Pelosi continued, “Our delegation was pleased to meet with Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay and Tibetan Parliamentarians to discuss US and international support for efforts designed to help Tibetans maintain their religion, culture, identity and to ensure their human rights are protected.”

On the warm welcome and different discussions, Pelosi said, “We were warmly welcomed by hundreds of children today during a visit to the Tibet Children’s Village, a remarkable and inspiring school dedicated to educating the next generation of Tibetans living in Dharamsala.”

US lawmakers joined a roundtable of Tibetan women leaders to discuss the education and success of women and girls, and other initiatives to ensure that Tibetan women are, consistent with the vision of His Holiness, at the forefront of guiding future generations and helping bring about a more peaceful and compassionate world.”

Tribute to 26/11 Victims

The visiting US congressional delegation led by Pelosi also paid tributes to 26/11 attack victims at the Memorial at Taj Hotel. In a tweet, Pelosi said, “Our delegation held a moment of silence at the Taj Hotel memorial to honor the 164 people who lost their lives in Mumbai during 2008 attacks.”

NancyPelosi & visiting US congressional delegation pay tribute to 26:11 attack victims at the Memorial at Taj Hotel:Credit- US Consulate Mumbai‏
NancyPelosi & visiting US congressional delegation pay tribute to 26/11 attack victims at the Memorial at Taj Hotel/Credit- US Consulate Mumbai‏

Congressmen Eliot L. Engel and Jim McGovern joined Pelosi as they stopped at the Chabad center, known as the Nariman House, another site of the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai. Rabbi Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg, Chabad’s representatives then, were among those killed in the attacks.

Posting on Facebook, McGovern wrote: “Today we joined Rabbi Kozlovsky at Nariman House [a name for the Chabad House] as we honor those lost in 2008 #Mumbai attacks. America must always stand up to hate.”

“Thank you Rabbi Kozlovsky for welcoming us to Nariman House as we honored the memories of those who perished in 2008 Mumbai attacks,” tweeted Pelosi.

US Congressional delegation led by Nanacy Pelosi at Nariman House, Bombay
Rabbi Yisroel Kozlovsky, right, co-director of Nariman House, shows the visitors parts of the Chabad center that still bear scars from 2008/Credit: Jim McGovern/Facebook

Rabbi Yisroel and Chaya Kozlovsky arrived in India in 2012 to direct Chabad-Lubavitch of Mumbai, and oversaw the rehabilitation and rededication of the Nariman House. They have run all of the city’s Chabad activities since then.

Six Americans lost their lives when ten Pakistani men associated with the terror group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba stormed buildings in Mumbai, and used automatic weapons and grenades in the attacks, killing dozens of people. Nine of the gunmen were killed during the attacks, one survived. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman, was executed in India in November 2012.

Delegation members

In addition to Leader Pelosi, the Members of the delegation are:

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Foreign Affairs Committee, Judiciary Committee
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member, Foreign Affairs Committee; Energy and Commerce Committee
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Co-Chair, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission; Agriculture Committee, Rules Committee
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Appropriations Committee
Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Ways and Means Committee; Small Business Committee
Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Financial Services Committee
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Vice Ranking Member, Budget Committee; Judiciary Committee

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