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Time to renew sense of trust with India

The US-China joint statement that has rankled India by its mention of relations between India and Pakistan has underscored the major issue that US Prez Barack Obama will face when he meets with PM Manmohan Singh in Washington next week — renewing the sense of trust that had been developed when George W Bush was in office, reports Aniruddh Bhattacharyya.

world Updated: Nov 20, 2009 00:44 IST
Aniruddh Bhattacharyya

The United States-China joint statement that has rankled India by its mention of relations between India and Pakistan has underscored the major issue that American President Barack Obama will face when he meets with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Washington next week — renewing the sense of trust that had been developed when George W Bush was in office.

Getting back to such an equation despite the level of wariness in India about the Obama administration could be the primary deliverable as the two leaders meet, according to those who have been part of creating the framework for India-US ties in recent years.

In an interview, former US Undersecretary in the State Department Nicholas Burns said, “It will be important for the Obama Administration to signal more clearly than it has to date that India’s rise to power is in the strategic interest of the United States as our long-term interests are symmetrical.”

Burns, now a Professor at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, is considered one of the architects of the India-US civilian nuclear deal.

Teresita Schaffer, Director of the South Asian Programme at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that there was a tendency among some Indians to not feel the same level of comfort as they did with the Bush Administration: “They’re not sure about these guys.”