Identifying India as a major power in Asia, a top US official has said working closely with New Delhi is one of the most important aspects of America's strategy in the Asia-Pacific region.
"One of the most important aspects of our Asian Pacific strategy is also to work more closely with India and to help put meat on the bones of India's desire to play a prominent role in the Asian-Pacific region going forward," assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, Kurt Campbell, told reporters at a news conference.
Earlier this month, Campbell had led a team of US officials in holding a dialogue with India on East Asia and Pacific Affairs.
"As part of the robust set of relationships that are developing between the United States and India is a very good dialogue between officials in India from all their agencies and the United States about the Asian Pacific region," Campbell said in response to a question about the recent meeting.
"And these discussions range from issues associated with trade, common developments with regard to maritime security, energy flows, interests in strong relationships with China and Japan, other key nations in the region, a desire on the part of India to be briefed on our strategy with relation to our force posture and our economic issues.
"It's among the best meetings that I am involved in, and I really enjoyed the trust and confidence that have developed between our Indian and American interlocutors, and it's a process very similar, like the process that we have with Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tian-kai and also with Japanese colleagues. They are becoming part of the architecture of the region in every respect," he said.
The top US official said he believes there has been enormous progress in the US-Indian relationship over the last 10 years.
This progress has continued in all fields - in people-to-people, in defence, he said.
"My own personal experience of these talks, frankly, have been, I think, emblematic. When they began almost two years ago, even though I had spent an enormous amount of time in the private sector in my academic and other capacities having interactions with Indian friends, our initial meetings were formulaic and fairly prescribed.
"What we now have is a very wide-ranging, very deep set of discussions about common interests, areas where we can cooperate and work together, and basically an exploration of strategic objectives," Campbell said.
The fact is these sorts of meetings, these sorts of interactions, are extraordinarily important in gaining a sense of how a country thinks about its future and the direction that it wants to take, he said.
"I believe that they are a major contribution to what I believe will be a defining partnership of the 21st century, and that is the relationship between the United States and India. We are destined to be much closer friends in the time ahead," Campbell said.