Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that the US relationship with New Delhi is "essential" as it builds constructive ties with India, China and Russia, major nations that would have a lot to say in an emerging world.
The US is advancing its relationship with India as part of a wide-ranging diplomatic agenda to meet today's daunting challenges topped by the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan," she said in an appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday.
"As daunting as these challenges are, they also offer us new arenas for global cooperation, and we're taking steps to seize these opportunities, Clinton said outlining the agenda premised on strengthening US alliances with democratic partners in Europe, Asia, Africa and the western hemisphere.
"We are cultivating partnerships with key regional powers. We're building constructive relationships with major nations that will have a lot to say about what happens in the world to come: China, Russia, India."
Noting that the Democratic chairman of the panel, Howard Berman, its top Republican member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and others had mentioned that "advancing our relationship with India ...is essential, she said: "It's the world's largest democracy; it's an important ally in so many efforts."
Adding a "special word about Asia," Clinton said she made her first overseas trip as secretary of state to "Asia, a signal that we are not just a trans-Atlantic power, but also a trans-Pacific power, and that Asia will be an indispensable partner in years to come."
"In today's world, we face new challenges that have no respect for borders.
Not one of them can be dealt with by the United States alone, Clinton said. "None can be solved without us. All will have a profound impact on the security of our citizens."
Earlier in his opening statement, Berman said that he and several other Congressional colleagues who had just returned from a trip to India and Pakistan were happy at the dramatically improved ties with India, but deeply concerned about the security situation in Pakistan.
"I think I can speak for all of them in saying that we were encouraged by the dramatically improved US ties with India, but deeply concerned about the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Pakistan."