US Senator calls for stronger ties with India



Washington: Observing that US-India relations will be among the world's most important in coming decades, a top American senator has said its vital for Washington to remain committed in strategic partnership with New Delhi.

"As (the US) President (Barack) Obama begins his second term, it is vital that the United States remain committed to deepening our strategic partnership with India. In the coming decades, United States-India relations will be among the world's most important," US Senator from South Dakota Tim Johnson said.

Speaking on the Senate floor Friday the Democratic Senator said it is clear that US-India cooperation on commercial and security initiatives over the past decade has resulted in greater opportunity for both nations.

"United States bilateral trade with India has increased 4 1/2 times in the last 10 years, and India is now one of the fastest growing export markets for the United States," he said, adding that last year, India became the world's third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity.

"In 2005, the United States and India signed a 10-year defence framework agreement which has greatly expanded bilateral security cooperation between our nations. India now conducts more defence exercises and personnel exchanges with the United States than with any other country," Johnson said.

"As the world's largest democracy, India shares with the United States a strong commitment to representative government and the rule of law, but these are not the only values that bind us. It is my hope that the United States will continue to pursue a course with (India) that promotes collaboration on security, encourages civic engagement and open governance, and expands bilateral trade and investment. I look forward to a strong United States-India relationship for years to come," Johnson said in his remarks.

PTI