With India playing a "vastly more significant role" in global issues, the US looks at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's India visit as "a tremendous opportunity" to deepen bilateral ties and expand New Delhi's role.
As Clinton herself noted a couple of days ago, "relations between the world's largest democracy and the world's oldest democracy have improved significantly over the last 20 years," State Department spokesman Philip J Crowley told reporters on Friday.
Looking at "changing institutions, changing forms of partnership, changing mechanisms by which we have to address and solve the challenges of the world," he said: "India is playing a vastly more significant role in these issues."
"So that as you outline the fundamental challenges that we face - climate change, non-proliferation, extremism, the global economy, food security for populations around the world, respect for cultural differences around the world. India is fundamental to all of those."
"And so I think this is a tremendous opportunity to expand and deepen the relationship between the United States and India not just in a bilateral standpoint, but also seeing how India can play a much more significant role on a multilateral basis as well," Crowley said.
Clinton is expected to detail her vision of the new upgraded relationship with India in major foreign policy speech next Wednesday at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.