Costa Hosts Ambassador Rao of India in Fresno

FRESNO, CA – At the invitation of Congressman Jim Costa, India's Ambassador Nirupama Rao visited Fresno from August 29-30 and met with a wide cross-section of the Indian-American community, academia and civil society in the San Joaquin Valley.

“Relations between the United States and India are better than ever, and it was a privilege to host Ambassador Rao in our Valley,” said Costa. “Our common bonds and shared goals create an opportunity to greatly improve the lives of the people in both of our nations.  Thank you to my friend, Ambassador Rao, for joining us and her continued work to strengthen U.S.-Indian relations.”

Congressman Costa expressed confidence in the future of U.S.-India economic and business ties and praised the role of the Indian-American community in bringing the two nations closer. He recalled his close association with Ambassador Rao over the last few years and thanked the Ambassador for her support and championing of the U.S.-India partnership.

Costa added, “Perhaps the best export that India has made to our country over the last century is the Indian immigrants that have come to America and become citizens. They are doctors, farmers, and business people from every walk of life who are all contributing to our Valley and our nation in so many different ways.”

Addressing to a group of faculty and students at the Fresno City College on August 29th and the Fresno State University on August 30th, Ambassador Rao discussed India's socio-economic and developmental goals and aspirations. She also pointed to cooperation between India and the United States in a vast array of sectors like education, energy, agriculture, health, science, and technology as the basis for strong relations.  Noting the vast contributions of the Indian-American community to Fresno's agricultural success, she said that human development and closer people-to-people relations were at the heart of India-U.S. relations.  

Ambassador Rao thanked Congressman Costa for his support to the Indian-American community, and called him a true believer and passionate advocate for improving the strategic partnership between India and the United States.

During the visit, Congressman Costa joined Ambassador Rao at a ceremony before the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Fresno State University's Peace Garden that included the university President Joseph Castro, members of faculty, and students. The two also attended a welcome reception hosted by the Indian-American community leaders in Fresno.

Congressman Costa is an active member of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans. Costa also visited India in 2009 and 2013 for meetings regarding regional security challenges and opportunities for economic growth on both sides of the Pacific.