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Partnership with US vital to achieve developmental goals: India

Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar said partnership with the US is important to achieve its national developmental goals and argued that the transformation of Indo-US relationship has been the most significant feature of New Delhi's foreign policy in decades.

world Updated: Jul 16, 2009 10:49 IST

India's top diplomat in the United States on Tuesday said partnership with the US is important to achieve its national developmental goals and argued that the transformation of Indo-US relationship has been the most significant feature of New Delhi's foreign policy in decades.

"India considers partnership with the US important for achieving its national development goals," Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar said in her address to the prestigious World Affairs Council in San Diego, California.

She noted that the Indo-US relations have undergone a historic transformation over the course of the past decade.

Shankar said both US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have reiterated a commitment to continue the process of further strengthening the ties to build on the impressive progress of recent years to build what the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described as the third level of India-US relations.

"From the perspective of India, transformation of her relations with the US has been probably the most significant feature of its foreign policy over the past decade," she said.

"We have nearly 30 forums of bilateral engagement, spanning virtually all aspects of human endeavor. Our political dialogue has grown to an unprecedented level, our strategic understanding has deepened and encompasses both our region and the world and our bilateral cooperation has entered new frontiers," Shankar said.

Shankar said the visit of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to India later this month will establish the framework of Indo-US engagement and priorities in the coming years.

The two countries, she said, now speak to each other on crises and challenges around the world. The militaries of two countries, once unfamiliar with each other, now hold regular dialogue and exercises in the air and on land and sea, she said.

Counter-terrorism cooperation, which actually precedes 9/11 but saw modest progress until now, has acquired new momentum and substance after the Mumbai terrorist attack in November 2008, she added.