Long-term relationship with India is priority: US

Last Updated: Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 23:30

Washington: US President Barack Obama has directed all wings of the government to seek long-term relationship with India, a top US commander said on Thursday.

"I have been directed by the President to seek a -- as all of the parts of our government have -- long-term security relationship, a partnership with India," PACOM Commander, Admiral Sameul J Locklear III, said.

"And that covers a lot of different areas; but in the military area, we look for opportunities to inter-operate with each other," he said.

"We are headed in that direction," Locklear told Pentagon reporters at a news conference in response to a question on relationship with India.
Locklear was recently in India on his maiden visit after taking over the command of the US Pacific Command.

"We very much support India military, India taking a leadership in the security issues in and around the Indian Ocean. And we are looking for opportunities to participate and interoperate with them where we can," Locklear said.

Referring to the dynamics significance of the Indo-Pacific region, he said, this includes all the major economies; seven of the 10 largest armies are in that region.
"You can put all the continents in the world in the Pacific Ocean; you can put them all in the Pacific Ocean and still have room for another Africa, another Canada, another United States and another Mexico. And that`s just in the Pacific," he said.

"The Indian Ocean is vast as well. So you have this really large, very dynamic -- you can`t even call it a region; it`s half the world -- where you have historical ties between countries -- bilateral, multilateral -- and you have this -- there is no one security organization that`s able to deal with things such as a NATO."

"And I don`t think you`ll ever get to that because it`s such a vast and diverse region," he said.

"So we have to rely on and have to support these multilateral organizations that allow us to capitalize on where we have like interests, and to not be afraid to allow other countries to lead in those areas," Locklear said in response to a question.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 23:30

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