A top White House official said on Thursday that United States has welcomed India’s prominent and effective role on issues ranging from climate change to peace keeping while emphasizing that the best of US-India partnership is yet to come.
“We welcome India not just because it is consequential because we share and often promote norms about a rules based order,” Peter Lavoy, the White House’s point person for South Asia, told a Washington audience.
“The US welcomes more prominent and effective role that India is playing on a wide range of world problems from climate change and global health to peace keeping, maritime security and cyber governance.”
He said that the US-India partnership has come a long way in the past eight years, but the best is yet to come.
“We are handing over to the next team, a major defence partnership with India,” he said as he highlighted the vibrant dimensions of the Indo-US relationship.
“First a growing convergence on regional issues. Second deepening cooperation on defense trade and third broadening in security partnership,” said Lavoy, Senior Director for South Asia at the National Security Council (NSC), said in his remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
During the past six years of Obama Administration, he said there has been growing convergence of views of the risks, threats and opportunities.
“In part this convergence has come apart as we made monumental efforts to overcome specific areas of mistrust,” he said, adding that over the years the two countries have built habits of co-operation in discussing the challenge they face.
Three regions where this co-operation has gained momentum are Afghanistan, Asia Pacific and Africa, he said.
Maritime security is the key area of co-operation between the two countries.
Over the last few years, the US has significantly increased its consultations with India on their shared interest in Afghanistan, he said.
India, he said has played an important role in the collective effort of bringing stability and prosperity to that war-torn country, committing more than $2 billion in assistance.
Lavoy said it is fair to say that the US India defence relationship has matured in the last eight years than any period in US history.