Pune: Hailing India as one of the most
important nations in current global scenario, the US on Friday
said the strategic engagement between the two nations was key
to ensure a peaceful and prosperous international order, apart
from benefits to each other.
"The story of how we work together to ensure a peaceful
and prosperous international order is as ambitious as it is
profound. It is a deeply strategic endeavour that we can and
must pursue together. It is work that will define a
generation," Deputy Secretary of State William J Burns said
addressing a gathering at Pune University.
Calling for further enhancing cooperation between the two
countries, he said both India and the US can contribute in
building a more secure, stable, democratic and just global
"Across the world, I believe that India and America
with so many converging interests, shared values and common
concerns are natural partners in building a more secure,
stable, democratic and just global system.
"India can make a decisive contribution to what Secretary
Clinton has called `the global architecture of cooperation` to
solve problems that no one country can solve on its own," he
Noting that world economy was going through a turbulent
phase, he complimented the reform process in India and said it
encourages the Indian government to continue its domestic
reform agenda and facilitate greater foreign investment.
"This reform process is good for India, and good for the
world. Over time, we look forward to India playing an eventual
role in our vision of trans-Pacific economic cooperation," he
"We see our efforts to open markets as complementary and
converging, and encourage the Indian government to continue
its domestic reform agenda to facilitate greater foreign
investment and market access in tandem with its regional
economic integration efforts," Burns said.
Calling India as an essential part of US`s vision for an
economically integrated Asia-Pacific region, he said, "Indeed,
we are counting on India`s rise as a global power ? one that
engages from the Middle East and East Asia to Africa and
"The Obama Administration has high hopes for the US-India
relationship, and we are working hard to ensure that our
ambitions are matched by results," he said
Observing that Asia-Pacific region was emerging as the
epicentre of economic growth, innovation and global trade, he
said "the question is whether we are doing as much as we can
to ensure that our partnership in Asia realises its full
promise. I believe the honest answer is: not yet."
"We both have much to learn from each other, and dialogue
offers an opportunity to identify new areas of cooperation and
to address areas of disagreement. We are also launching a new
US-India-Japan trilateral consultation on regional issues," he
"America`s vision for the 21st century has at its heart
an Asia-Pacific built on security, prosperity and dignity for
all nations and people. That vision will be impossible
without a strong American partnership with a rising India," he
Acknowledging India`s growing maritime capabilities, he
said the US is interested in working with India to combat
various challenges in the Indian Ocean Region.
"India`s strong presence across the Indian and Pacific
Oceans is a source of comfort and affirms its potential as a
net security provider in the maritime domain," he said.
"We welcome and support India`s growing naval capacity
and modernisation and its engagement across Asia.
"...the United States is interested in working with India
as we develop our own approach to the variety of opportunities
and challenges in the Indian Ocean region," Burns said.
Complimenting India`s maritime role in recent years,
Burns said New Delhi is demonstrating its growing maritime
capabilities with a robust counter-piracy approach that serves
common regional interests.
"As a founding member of the international Contact Group
on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, India has shown great
leadership in the efforts to confront and roll back piracy
that emanates from Somalia and threatens trade flows to
and from Asia," he said.
"As the United States expands its role in countering
piracy, whether in the Gulf of Aden or the Straits of Malacca,
we will look for increased opportunities to partner with
India, alongside our traditional allies, new and emerging
partners, and with ASEAN," he added.
Rejecting observations that US`s interest in Asia is
linked to containing China, he said Washington strongly
believes that a "thriving China is good for China, good for
the United States, and good for India."
"The 21st century Asia-Pacific we seek is one in which
India, the United States, China and all the states of this
region and beyond enjoy good relations," he said.
Showering praise on India, Burns said the country`s
synthesis of high economic growth and multi-party democracy
could not be more relevant in a "region where debates rage
about the value of democracy to development."
"Americans look at India and see a pluralistic,
multi-party democracy, a place of innovation and openness, a
success story that offers hope to societies wracked by
political turmoil and sectarian or ethnic divides," he said.
Talking about Burma, he hoped that the Indian government
will use its historical friendship and relations with the
neighbouring country to engage its civil society and continue
to encourage concrete action on political and economic reform
and national reconciliation.