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Clinton vows 'dramatic expansion' of India-US ties

world Updated: Jun 18, 2009 17:12 IST

IANS
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has vowed to usher in a new era of relations with India with a "dramatic expansion" in ties in fields ranging from trade to global security to science and technology.

Calling India one of the few nations the new Obama administration saw as a global partner, Clinton confirmed she would go to India next month to build what she called the "US-India 3.0" relationship representing the next stage in their evolving ties.

"We see India as one of a few key partners worldwide who will help us shape the 21st century," she declared giving the first broad exposition of Washington's agenda for India at the US-India Business Council's (USIBC) Synergies Summit here.

"It is early in our new administration, and we are clearly committed to furthering and deepening our relationship with India in every way possible," she said as if addressing critics who have suggested that unlike the previous Bush administration, President Barack Obama was ignoring New Delhi.

"Now, I tell you this because I want you to place me and where I stand as secretary of state," Clinton said. "It is in a position of deep commitment to building stronger ties with India, a commitment based on mutual respect and mutual interests."

"And I know that President Obama feels the same way," she said laying out the agenda for what she called the third era of a relationship that has evolved since former President Clinton opened a new chapter of engagement with India after the end of the Cold War.

"We find ourselves at the beginning of a third era. I'll call it US-India 3.0. The new governments in Washington and New Delhi will build this future together," Clinton said.

"But today, I can tell you, my hope and President Obama's hope, that the next stage in our countries' relationship will see a dramatic expansion in our common agenda and a greater role for India, in solving global challenges," she said.

"I hope that an expanded partnership between the US and India will be one of the signature accomplishments of both new governments in both countries, and I do plan to make that a personal priority," Clinton said.

To achieve the goal of stronger ties between the two countries, Clinton said, "we will have to confront and transcend the mistrust that has hampered our cooperation in the past, and address the lingering uncertainties in our relationship still today."

Clinton suggested four platforms of cooperation-global security, human development, economic activity, science and technology - that can support the launch of the third phase of the US-India relationship.

The US, she said wanted "India to succeed as a model of democratic development, we want India to succeed as an anchor for regional and global security, and we want India to succeed so that the world's two largest democracies can work together as strong partners."

Noting that three successive United States administrations from different parties - Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama - have identified the US-India relationship as a foreign policy priority, she said: "To the United States, this is a project that transcends partnerships and personalities. And I believe the same is true in India."

"In a world where, let's admit it, frankly, the headlines can get depressing, our relationship with India is a good-news story. And I think it's going to get even better," Clinton said.