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US invites India to work with it in more regions

world Updated: Sep 28, 2011 11:20 IST

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The US has appealed to India to work with it in other parts of the world, just not only in South Asia.

"We are counting on India's rise not just as an economic partner but as a global power — one that engages everywhere from Latin America to the Middle East to East Asia," deputy secretary of state William J Burns said in his remarks on 'Is there a future for the US-India partnership?', organised jointly by the FICCI and Brookings Institute, a Washington-based eminent American think tank.

India's leadership in promoting a more stable South Asia – its multibillion dollar assistance commitment to Afghanistan, its determination to re-engage and normalise trade with Pakistan, and its joint projects to boost infrastructure and capacity in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives – offer the hope of a more peaceful future for the region and the world, he said.

For US and Indian policymakers, a successful transition in Afghanistan is a shared imperative and an area of increasing cooperation.

"As the United States draws down our forces and transfers responsibility for security to the Afghan people, we are ever mindful of Afghanistan’s recent history and the terrible cost of neglect."

"None of us can afford to make that mistake again," he noted.

"Success in Afghanistan depends on ensuring that others are there, too. That certainly includes India. With coalition forces drawing down, Afghanistan will need extensive private investment and economic linkages with its neighbours," he said.

Even with no direct access to India's rising middle class market, Afghanistan already sends one-quarter of its exports to the country, he said, adding that imagine what will be possible when transit and trade agreements extend outward to India and Central Asia, and Afghan traders are able to shift goods directly to the markets of Mysore and Mumbai.