Given its demonstrated ability to protect nuclear technology while allowing growth of civilian nuclear capacity, the United States expects a "responsible" India to play an important role in strengthening the global non-proliferation regime.
"I think India, will play an important role both in the national security summit next week as well as the NPT (Non-proliferation Treaty" review conference in May," State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters here Tuesday.
He was responding to a question about what role US visualised for India, which has declined to sign the NPT, at next week's global nuclear security summit here, which would bring together leaders from 47 nations, including Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
But as the US Nuclear Posture Review reflected, Crowley said: "We are less concerned about the exchange of nuclear weapons among states. We're more concerned about how we keep nuclear technology and know-how out of the hands of outlier states and rogue elements."
"And India will have an important role to play, both in terms of reinforcing and strengthening the Non-proliferation Treaty, but also demonstrating, as it is itself, how it can both protect nuclear technology, while also allowing the growth of civilian nuclear capacity."
Asked to comment on the India-China relationship and their decision to set up a hotline between the prime ministers of two countries, Crowley said: "I think we value dialogue, particularly in Asia. But this is a matter between the governments of China and India."
"But we certainly think that any mechanism that allows two important countries - that are neighbours and vitally important to global security and the economy - should have appropriate mechanisms to communicate whenever they feel the need."
Meanwhile, a key Obama aide on non-proliferation said the US and India have increasingly become partners in dealing with the global proliferation threat with the threat of nuclear terrorism.
"We talk about these issues on a bilateral and on a multilateral basis with India quite frequently," Special US Advisor Non Proliferation and Arms Control Robert J Einhorn told foreign media.
The Obama Administration also "appreciates and understands" India's principled stand on the NPT, he said.
"It's a long-standing attitude; it's a position of principle. What's especially important to us is that India behaves in a responsible manner. And it has behaved in a responsible manner."