New Delhi: US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster Friday said the India-America partnership was the “most consequential relationship of the 21st century”.
Juster was speaking at a groundbreaking event for a new Chancery building of the US Embassy in Delhi. The event was also attended by Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. Apart from the Chancery building, US authorities will also undertake revamp of some parts of the 28-acre embassy area.
Juster’s statement came a day after he denounced the breach of Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Thousands of Donald Trump supporters entered the Capitol building in an attempt to stop the US Congress from officially confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
“The project we celebrate today is more than a series of buildings and infrastructure. It reflects America’s enduring commitment to the US-India partnership and is a testament to the strength and longevity of that partnership,” said Juster.
“The US-India relationship is much stronger, more enduring and with greater potential than when you first came,” Puri said to the outgoing ambassador during his address.
Sisodia called the Delhi government’s partnership with the embassy “cordial, full of fun and mutually beneficial”, and made a special reference to First Lady Melania Trump’s visit to a government school in the capital city in February last year to learn about its happiness curriculum.
New Chancery building
In 2015, the US State Department had commissioned American architecture firm Weiss/Manfredi to develop a master plan for the embassy in Delhi and design some new facilities.
The new Chancery building will stand adjacent to the original one, which was designed by architect Edward D. Stone and built in 1959. The ambassador’s residence, located next to the Chancery, is called the Roosevelt House.
The original Chancery and Roosevelt House, now listed on the US secretary of state’s register of Historically Significant Properties, will be retained in their original form.
The US was the first country to exchange ambassadors with independent India in 1947. Planning of the embassy complex began in the early 1950s in Delhi’s Chanakyapuri area.