US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who first visited India in 2000 as the First Lady, fondly remembers her trip to the country not only for her experiences, but also for the fact that it marked a warm turnaround in the ties between the two countries.
Bill Clinton's visit to India is widely seen as a transformational event in the Indo-US ties that were bedevilled by years of suspicion and mistrust.
Hillary, who first accompanied her husband Bill Clinton to India, was so enamoured by the experience that she returned again to the country with her young daughter Chelsea.
"Oh, the Taj Mahal with Chelsea, yeah, I remember it fondly," Clinton told the ABC news in an interview when asked about her India visit as the First Lady.
"That was a wonderful trip not only for us personally, but for our country because it really started the ongoing efforts that the Bush Administration and now President Obama have undertaken to strengthen and deepen our relationship with India, a great partner, the world's largest democracy," she said.
President Barack Obama is set to visit India next month to take forward the bilateral relationship.
Hillary said as a young girl she could never have imagined that she would have the honour of representing the United States as a Secretary of State
"I would not have imagined it. I certainly could not have imagined being Secretary of State. But that's what's so great about our country," she said.
"That's why I love every minute that I get to represent the United States, because I'm a product of how great our country is, and that's why I care so deeply that we get out there and try to manage and solve the problems that could perhaps narrow the opportunities for our own children," Clinton said.
"It's exhilarating work," she said, referring to her overseas travels.
Hillary Recalls Game-Changer Visit to India in 2000
Lalit K Jha/Washington
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