India's top diplomat in America has said that the development of ties between the states of the two countries is adding a new dimension to the India-US relationship.
Addressing the Maryland House of Delegates, Indian Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao, referred to the efforts of different States from both India and the US to develop their own ties with the other country.
Last year, governors of several American States had travelled to India, while this year governors of as many as eight states are planning to visit India.
Similarly several Indian States are sending their top delegations to the US.
"Today, a new dimension is being added to this relationship. These are the ties between states in your country and states in ours," Rao said in her address.
"Maryland has been one of the pioneers in this regard and we admire and are completely supportive of the initiatives you have taken in this regard," she said.
The Maryland governor Martin O'Malley's six-day visit to India in November 2011, she said, produced significant results with nearly $60 million in business deals for Maryland companies and sending, as the Governor said, "a strong message to India's top business organizations and companies that Maryland is the gateway to doing business in the US."
At the invitation of the Maryland General Assembly, Rao visited the State House in Annapolis on Wednesday and addressed both the House of Delegates and the State Senate.
She also met the Speaker of the House of Delegates, Michael Busch.
In her address at the House of Delegates, Rao described the legislature as a "Temple of Democracy" symbolizing the "fundamental bedrock" of democracy on which the India-US partnership is founded.
The Maryland general assembly has three Indian-American legislators, including majority leader of the House of Delegates, Kumar Barve, Delegate Sam Arora, and Delegate Aruna Miller.
In her remarks, Rao praised their achievements and paid tribute to the Indian American community for its stellar role in advancing the India-US partnership.