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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Stronger India is beneficial for world peace: US

PTI  Washington, September 02, 2014
First Published: 15:50 IST(2/9/2014) | Last Updated: 15:54 IST(2/9/2014)

India is going to be a "very important" player globally and the stronger it becomes, the more beneficial it will be for world peace, a senior Obama administration official has said amid preparations in Washington to give a red carpet welcome to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

There is a "sense that there is a natural convergence, a natural convergence of views between India and the US both in terms of wider Asia Pacific region, Indian Ocean region as well as a broader view globally," US assistant secretary of state for political military affairs Puneet Talwar told PTI in an interview.

"We think India is going to be very important globally, but also in the Asian continent. We think, the stronger India becomes, the more capable it becomes, the more economic power it accrues, that's for the benefit of global peace and prosperity," Talwar said.

"That's what the United States wants ultimately. We share that very much with India. We see India playing a stabilising role in that part of the world and taking on greater responsibilities that will accrue as it continues to emerge into its own," he said.

Officials from both the state department and the defense department said there is a natural convergence of India's "Look East Policy" and the "Asia Pacific Re-balance" of the US.

"We have our Asia Pacific Re-balance. India has its Look East policy. There is a natural convergence between those two.

I think, that an India that is playing its rightful role, actually in our view is a very positive thing. It can't do harm. It can only do well in terms of providing stability, security, peace and prosperity in the Asia Pacific," Talwar said.

"That is ultimately what we want and I have a sense that this is very much shared by India," he said.

Having personally received feedback from his top three Cabinet ministers, US President Barack Obama and his administration have begun preparations for welcoming Modi to the White House, which going by indications would kick-off a new phase of relationship between the world's two largest and oldest democratic countries, officials said.

Strategic relationship, defense ties and commerce are likely to be the key pillars of the next phase of the relationship.

This has been reflected in Obama's decision to send his secretary of state John Kerry, defense secretary Chuck Hagel and commerce secretary Penny Pritzeker, to India in the first 100 days of the Modi-led government.

This is probably for the first time that an American defense secretary has visited India so early in any Indian government's tenure.


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