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India, US ties change from estranged to engaged democracies

Last Updated: Monday, June 24, 2013 - 21:13

New York: India on Monday said its ties with the US have turned from "estranged democracies" to "engaged democracies", as it is exploring and absorbing in myriad ways its transition from being a country subjected to select American sanctions to becoming a strategic partner.

"From estranged democracies to engaged democracies, it has been a long and fascinating journey for India and the United States," External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid wrote in an opinion piece in the New York Times today.

Underlining that India and the world have changed dramatically in the past two decades, the minister said, "the relationship between India and the US has strengthened spectacularly and brought substantive gain to both countries."

"It has also given birth to great expectations. The management and fulfilment of those expectations is crucial for the dialogue and partnership between the two countries," he wrote in the article, coinciding with Secretary of State John Kerry`s India visit for the 4th round of Indo-US strategic dialogue in New Delhi.

Recalling the US sanctions against India in the wake of 1998 Pokhran-II nuclear tests, Khurshid said, "India is exploring and absorbing in myriad ways its transition from being a country subjected to select American sanctions to becoming a strategic partner of the United States."

He said the relationship between India and the US has been driven by both the bilateral governmental interface and the natural affinity and attraction between their citizens.

"The liberal philosophical moorings of some of the first leaders of independent India, shared values of democracy and freedom, and admiration for the American Constitution, brought us together," he wrote.

"In the Indian discovery of America and the American discovery of India, increased expectations, timely delivery on commitments, agreed-upon mutual course corrections and consolidation of gains would be crucial."

Underlining the importance of India-US Strategic Dialogue, he said it "provides opportunities to measure the distance traveled and to map the future" and it`s "success is in the interest of our two countries and the world."
Khurshid wrote that India and the US are currently tasked to nurture the strategic partnership that they already have in place and to which they are mutually committed to preserve and protect. "The pressures and difficulties posed by our domestic politics and economics, the unresolved issues of the world, must not deter us," he wrote.
He also hoped that in the field of defence, the Indo-US ties should not merely be a buyer-seller relationship, but a true strategic partnership involving joint research, manufacture of equipment, training of personnel and military exercises.


First Published: Monday, June 24, 2013 - 21:13
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