US committed to take partnership with India still higher: Biden

Washington, July 14 (IANS) Declaring that America’s deepening friendship with India is an indispensable part of US Asia rebalance strategy, US Vice President Joe Biden has reiterated Washington’s commitment to take the India-US partnership still higher.

“US-India partnership has reached a new level” under President Barack Obama, he said Monday in keynote speech on the future of the US-India partnership to mark the tenth anniversary of the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal.

The nuclear deal “removed the single largest irritant in the relationship between the two greatest democracies,” he said on the conclusion of a conference hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

“Together we transformed the bilateral relationship into a global partnership based on shared values, interests, responsibilities,” he said. “All of these will go to shape the next century if we stay the course.”

“We are committed to take this relationship further” for the well being of both the US and India as also for the advancement of the international community, he said suggesting that the world was “at the cusp of another sea change decade.”

To seize this “historic moment, Biden said “the US was pursuing a strategy of rebalancing to the Asia Pacific region” and “America’s deepening friendship with India is an indispensable part of our Asia rebalance strategy.”

“India’s Act East and US Rebalance in Asia is good news for the region as well as good news for the partnership,” he said.

The joint strategic vision for the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean region that Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had issued in January “serves as a beacon,” Biden said.

“And every day we are working to try to make this vision a reality,” he said recalling that Obama had during his January visit to India had “declared that the US can be India’s best partner.”

“That’s our goal,” he said. “Change is taking place,” Biden said. “It’s a historic moment in the world, let’s seize it.”

“We have a chance to bend history just a little bit,” he said. “This is one of those moments when our common interests are going to continue to converge and our countries have the potential to reach new heights.”

Earlier, addressing the Conference, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal recalled that “Ten years ago, access to nuclear, space, and other forms of high technology were among the most contentious issues between India and the United States.”

“Today those issues are part of the foundation on which we’re building a lasting partnership,” she said.

“In defence, the US is now India’s largest supplier, and we are launching new co-development and co-production projects that will expand our ties and advance Prime Minister Modi’s Make in India initiative,” she noted.

“Clearly, our relationship with the US has transformed rapidly in the last ten years to become a full-spectrum relationship, covering virtually all fields of human endeavour,” said the Indian ambassador Arun Singh.

“It is now embedded in the larger vision of a global strategic partnership,” he said asserting “that no relationship between India and another country can today match the range, depth, quality and intensity of the India-US partnership.”

“Going forward, I see the US continuing to play a role in India’s transformation, and see India and the US joining hands to make the world a better place for our two nations and the rest of the world,” Singh said.

 

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