US says India major strategic partner



Washington: Obama Administration has identified India as a major strategic partner in the new international order as it unveiled its new National Security Strategy that gives top priority to deepening its partnership with two other major powers -- China and Russia.

"If you take a nation like India in particular, too, that's only enhanced by the fact that India is a democracy, and that they're a nation that we share democratic values with as well, which I think informs the depth of the strategic partnership that we're pursuing with them, both in the region and around the world," said Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor.

The 52-page document submitted to the Congress said that the US will continue to deepen its cooperation with other 21st century centres of influence -- including China, India and Russia -- on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect.

"We think it's critical that if you look at China, if you look at India, as nations that, of course, have had a dramatic economic growth in recent years, play an increasingly important role in the regions that they're in but also on global issues, that we see expanded and deepened cooperation between the United States and those nations as essential to addressing our priorities," Rhodes said in response to a question yesterday.

"I think that, again, if you stack up the key issues, they're going to define the trajectory of the next 10 or 20 years, whether it's terrorism, global economy, climate change, non-proliferation, that we need to be enlisting the cooperation of India, of China, to address those issues.

So, you know, I think we do put an important focus on that, as part of our engagement," Rhodes said.

The top White House official said, "In the administration's approach more broadly, a focus that we place on our engagement with those countries, both on a bilateral basis and globally.

He argued the US actually shares more interests in common with a range of nations including India than has been reflected in the depth of our cooperation in the past.

"India, we've had very good cooperation with. But if you take a nation like China, I think that, as issues become increasingly global, that we have more mutual interests, in some respects, than our habits of cooperation have indicated," he said.

"So, you've seen that in our very close coordination through the G20 on the global economy, that no one nation alone can deal with its economic growth agenda without recognising that it's connected to a host of events beyond its borders, and so that, too, informs our efforts to build cooperation," Rhodes said.

"Certain bilateral relationships -- such as US relations with China, India, and Russia -- will be critical to building broader cooperation on areas of mutual interest.

And emerging powers in every region of the world are increasingly asserting themselves, raising opportunities for partnership for the United States," said the 52-page document.

"The United States and India are building a strategic partnership that is underpinned by our shared interests, our shared values as the world's two largest democracies, and close connections among our people.

India's responsible advancement serves as a positive example for developing nations, and provides an opportunity for increased economic, scientific, environmental, and security partnership," it said.

"Working together through our Strategic Dialogue and high-level visits, we seek a broad-based relationship in which India contributes to global counter-terrorism efforts, nonproliferation and helps promote poverty-reduction, education, health, and sustainable agriculture.

We value India's growing leadership on a wide array of global issues, through groups such as the G-20, and will seek to work with India to promote stability in South Asia and elsewhere in the world," it said.

PTI