Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met PM Modi in Delhi on Friday

Washington: A top American Congresswoman has praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for trying to broker peace between the United States and Russia on Ukraine and hoped that his efforts would be helpful in restoring peace in the region.

On Friday, PM Modi conveyed to visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that India stands ready to contribute in any way to the peace efforts to resolve the conflict in Ukraine and called for early cessation of violence in that country.

"Well, I think that right now he (PM Modi) is trying to broker a peace between Russia and America with Ukraine. I think that's a very positive goal to have. We (India and US) have strong economic ties, we have strong peace ties, and we have strong similar values, I would say we have the same form of government," Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney told PTI in an interview.

Maloney, 76, who chairs the powerful House Oversight Committee and has been elected to the US House of Representatives since 1993, is one of the senior most Democratic lawmakers in Congress.

Maloney has been a friend of India and Indian Americans both inside and outside the Congress.

She attended the historic 'Howdy Modi' event in Houston in September 2019, which was addressed by the Prime Minister and the then US President Donald Trump.

She has been one of the key architects of the Diwali Stamp and is now focused on passage of two of her legislations: One to declare Diwali as a federal holiday and other to give the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal to Mahatma Gandhi.

Congresswoman Maloney, who has a reputation of never giving up on her efforts, during an interview, exuded confidence that both her legislations would be finally signed into law by President Joe Biden.

Maloney, who last met Modi during the 'Howdy Modi' event, said that the important thing is that Modi is trying for peace.

“One thing is true that if you don't try it, you'll never succeed. You have to keep on trying. For the sake of the world, I hope that anyone working for peace between Ukraine, Russia and the world is helpful in making that happen,” she said.

The Congresswoman from New York said that the prime minister is “trying to bring ideas and ways to get a compromise” to bring peace to the world.

“This is a very dangerous time, because we can't afford a third World War. We're nuclear powers. We can't afford it. We have to make an agreement and the suffering of the people is just too much. … loss of life, brutal destruction. I am personally very proud of President Biden," she said.

"He brought our allies and Asia and our allies in Europe together very swiftly in a unified front for democracy and to protect the people of Ukraine against a brutal invasion that we're still working to try to stop,” Maloney said.

The Congresswoman who has a strong relationship with India and Indian American community said that the Diwali Stamp, which took several years of her efforts to get it done, is now one of the most popular American postage stamps in the recent history of US Postal Services.

And now she is working on getting legislation passed by the Congress to declare Diwali a federal holiday.

“I've also put in legislation to give the highest honour that Congress can give: the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously to Gandhi for his work, his leadership, work and non-violent protests,” she said.

“This award has been given to Nelson Mandela, and it has been given to Martin Luther King. When Martin Luther King was murdered, he had in his possession, a book on Gandhi, I believe on his body on his desk, but Gandhi was credited for teaching him of a nonviolent movement and also Nelson Mandela,” she said.

“I thought, here we've given the Congressional Gold Medal to two great leaders, international leaders, and they were influenced and led by Gandhi. So, it's long past time that Gandhi should also be recognised with a Congressional Gold Medal,” she said, adding that it is a project in progress.

Maloney said the relationship between India and America is deep and strong and has been throughout history.

“The system of government in India is very similar to America with a democracy. It's the world's largest democracy. America is among the oldest democracies. So, it's not unusual, it's very common that the two democracies should be strong allies, strong friends and advocates for each other's goals and purposes. And we have been throughout history,” she said.

“India is a strong trading partner with the United States and usually as an ally, not always, but usually as an ally with America. And we have the same institutions. We have a judiciary; we have tolerance for other nationalities. We have a democracy. We have a representative government,” she said.