Washington: With John Kerry starting his term as America's top diplomat, the US has asserted that people-to-people and public diplomacy relations with India are extremely important to move forward in the bilateral ties.
"Obviously people-to-people and public diplomacy relations with India are extremely important going forward," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
Kerry is yet to make any calls to his Indian or Pakistani counterparts. But with the focus on relations with India high on the agenda, a senior US official is visiting the country to enhance educational partnership between the two countries.
US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine during her three-day visit beginning today will highlight the breadth and depth of the India-US people to people relationship, particularly the strong educational partnership, the State Department said.
In New Delhi, Sonenshine will lead the US delegation to the conference 'Mainstreaming Skills in Education' on February 6-7, where she will deliver remarks on US support for India's development of community colleges and the expansion of skills development education.
In a statement, the State Department said that the US delegation to this conference will include representatives from twelve community colleges.
During her travel, Sonenshine will meet with Indian officials to discuss US-India education collaboration.
She will also meet with Fulbright-Nehru scholars and will tour Indian historical preservation projects that receive funding from the Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation.
69-year-old Kerry, who replaced Hillary Clinton as the US Secretary of State, started his work at the State Department on Monday.
"I think it is beyond fair to say that this president's vision and what he has implemented through your efforts over the course of the last four years, without any question, has restored America's reputation and place in the world, and we thank you for what you have done to do that," Kerry said to the employees at the State Department.