HTLS 2015: India-US ties have bipartisan support, says Blackwill

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 04, 2015 20:12 IST
Former US envoy to India Robert Blackwill (right), Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, (centre) and Diane Farrell in a discussion during a session “The Next US Presidency” at Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. (Virender Singh Gosain/HT Photo)

The relationship with India has bipartisan support in the US though Washington will have to battle mounting foreign policy challenges across the world under the next president, a panel of experts concurred at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

Robert Blackwill, former US ambassador to India and a supporter of the Republican Party, Daniel Kurtz Phelan, a policy analyst rooting for the Democrats, and Dianne Farrell of the US-India Business Council agreed during a discussion on “the next US presidency” that American engagement had become more complex in many parts of the world.

The panelists, therefore, shared a doubt as to how much time the next president would be able to spend on ties with India.

“India-US ties are set to grow stronger. There is a bipartisan support for the relationship,” Blackwill, US envoy to India under the George W Bush administration, said.

Phelan, a former aide of Hillary Clinton, the front runner to become the Democrat presidential candidate, said there are areas such as East Asia, where India and the US can leverage their ties. “India is actively engaged in East Asia and is pursuing an Act East policy. The two countries can work together and have joint strategies.”

There has been growing synergy in India-US ties since the presidency of Bill Clinton, a Democrat, which was carried forward by his successors — Bush, a Republican, and Barack Obama, a Democrat.

Blackwill cited a host of challenges from “Russian active engagement in the Middle East first time in the past 50 years” and US-China ties touching a low to problems in Afghanistan, arguing that US foreign policy needs an overhaul.

There was zero possibility of UN security council reforms taking place, though the next president would reiterate American support for India becoming a permanent member, Blackwill said.

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