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India can play a global role: Hillary

Acknowledging India's emergence as a global player, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says how New Delhi can "play not just a regional role but a global one as well" would top her agenda on her India trip.

world Updated: Jul 17, 2009 02:26 IST
Arun Kumar

Acknowledging India's emergence as a global player, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says how New Delhi can "play not just a regional role but a global one as well" would top her agenda on her India trip.

"We believe India has a tremendous opportunity and a growing responsibility, which they acknowledge, to play not just a regional role but a global one as well," she said on Wednesday in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations.

"How they choose to define, that we will explore in-depth during the course of our discussion," Clinton said ahead of what she described as a "very broad, comprehensive dialogue" with India during her five-day visit starting on Friday.

"It's the most wide-ranging that I think has ever been put on the table between India and the United States," Clinton said.

"It has six pillars to it, one of which, of course, is foreign policy, strategic challenges, along with, you know, other matters like health, and education, and agriculture and the economy."

US would welcome Indian leadership and involvement in a number of difficult areas including non-proliferation, she said.

"Anybody who ever read Strobe Talbott's book, Engaging India,' knows that it's a very difficult issue. But, we want to look at new ways for global and regional regimes on weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear."

Clinton said US was also very interested in the role that India sees for itself in the immediate area like Sri Lanka and "military and particularly naval implications of decisions that India is making going forward."

Washington was also interested in the economic actions that India is taking and "what are they going to do to keep generating growth, lifting people out of poverty", she said noting, "they weathered the beginning of the recession better than many places."

US special envoy for climate change Todd Stern will be accompanying her, Clinton said, to discuss issues relating to clean energy and climate change.

India and China have understandable questions about what role they should be expected to play in any kind of new global climate change regime, she said. But "it is our hope that we can, through dialogue, come up with some win-win approaches."

Clinton said she was excited about the trip and looked forward to her meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and others in India.

"So, I think that this is an extremely rich area. I've just touched the surface of it," she said pledging that "we're going to do everything we can to broaden and deepen our engagement."