Washington: The Pentagon on Wednesday called India a pivotal player in the region saying that the country was a very important strategic partner of the United States.
"India is a pivotal player in the region, obviously. They`re a very important strategic partner of the United States, and the Secretary (of Defense) expressed his gratitude to the Indian government for their willingness to help train the ANSF," the Pentagon Press Secretary, George Little, told reporters during a news conference.
"He did encourage the Indian government to continue that effort and even to expand it. So we think that`s a very important step for the Indians to consider as part of their role in fostering greater peace and security in the region, to include in Afghanistan," Little said in response to a question on the recent visit of the Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, to India.