KOHIMA, DECEMBER 3: The Ambassador of USA to India Eric Garcetti has expressed America’s willingness to extend its mission to help Nagaland through education, economic opportunity, cultural exchange, sports and health.
Garcetti made the expression during an informal interaction with media persons at Kohima yesterday as part of his maiden visit to the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland.
“I have fallen in love with Nagaland. This is my first visit to the North East and I am impressed with the vibrancy of the culture and people”, he said.
He described Hornbill festival as the best festival he ever visited in his lifetime.
Having attended the inaugural session of Hornbill Festival as the honoured guest, he said, “I started to feel the immediate connection and next week the US is bringing its native tribes to the festival to have the connections between the culture and people of the US-India-Nagaland”.
“It was not just about how Nagaland presented itself to the world but to itself. And it was a moment where we could feel the unity”, he said.
He said America would like to build the Naga-US relationship by partnering in both physical and human infrastructure in Nagaland.
Human infrastructure includes job skills & training, hospitality and tourism, etc. while physical infrastructures in power sector, technology, textiles and agro business would be the focus, he said.
“I wanted to come to the North East because while being an Ambassador to Myanmar, I had heard that the NE is neglected by the rest of the world. So this time made it sure that while visiting Arunachal Pradesh would come to Nagaland as well”, he said.
This was an educational experience as an Ambassador, he said, adding that he is looking forward to coming back again not just to witness the culture but on how best the US can extend its help to Nagaland and the region.
On infrastructure development, Garcetti opined on his way to Kohima he observed that the road sector needs more attention and equally the power which see frequent cuts (and incidentally electricity did actually go off that moment and the interaction stopped for some minute).
He was also impressed by the pineapple he had on the 4-lane road side and his visit to Khonoma village while appreciating the community initiatives of the village which is also Asia’s first green village.
He also shared the idea of working on drug addiction and also welfare of women and girls in Nagaland and other parts of the country.
Impressed with the greenery of Nagaland, he said the country’s affecting climate change should pay to places like Nagaland where there is lush green and provide capital funding for Green infrastructure.
He also assured on possibilities of market linkage and also to help the State through their experts in various sectors for which the deliberations will be held with the State Government.
“Look forward to coming back again not just to witness the culture but on how best the US can extend its mission to help in the dreams and aspirations of Naga people”, he said.
The US Ambassador also appreciated the Nagas living in California.
Meanwhile, Temjen suggested a media and cultural exchange programme between US and Nagaland and also supporting Green Energy to which the Ambassador happily agreed and assured to work out.
(Page News Service)