‘US values India’s growing leadership on a global issues’

Washington, May 28 (IANS) Recognising India as one of the ‘key centres of influence’ along with China and Russia, President Barack Obama’s new National Security Strategy says US values India’s growing leadership on a wide array of global issues.

‘The United States and India are building a strategic partnership that is underpinned by our shared interests, our shared values as the world’s two largest democracies, and close connections among our people,’ says the strategy unveiled Thursday.

‘India’s responsible advancement serves as a positive example for developing nations, and provides an opportunity for increased economic, scientific, environmental, and security partnership,’ says the 52-page document released days ahead of the June 3-4 US India-strategic dialogue.

‘Working together through our Strategic Dialogue and high-level visits, we seek a broad-based relationship in which India contributes to global counterterrorism efforts, non-proliferation, and helps promote poverty-reduction, education, health, and sustainable agriculture.’

US it says values ‘India’s growing leadership on a wide array of global issues, through groups such as the G 20, and will seek to work with India to promote stability in South Asia and elsewhere in the world.’

In the broader framework of international relations, the strategy says faced with ‘the emergence of new challenges and the shortcomings of the international system’ the US ‘must focus American engagement on strengthening international institutions and galvanizing the collective action that can serve common interests.

‘The starting point for that collective action will be our engagement with other countries,’ it says, ‘so that we can cooperate on issues of bilateral and global concern, with the recognition that power, in an interconnected world, is no longer a zero sum game’.

The cornerstone of this engagement is the relationship between the United States and its ‘close friends and allies in Europe, Asia, the Americas, and the Middle East-ties which are rooted in shared interests and shared values, and which serve our mutual security and the broader security and prosperity of the world.

‘We are working to build deeper and more effective partnerships with other key centres of influence-including China, India, and Russia, as well as increasingly influential nations such as Brazil, South Africa, and Indonesia,’ says the strategy.

Explaining the strategy at the Brookings Institute, a Washington think tank, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, ‘Deepening our engagement with key countries like Russia, China, India and others gives us a better understanding and also to our counterparts.’

The upcoming strategic dialogue with India ‘is the first time ever we’ve had a ministerial strategic dialogue’, she said noting ‘there have been interactions, of course, at many levels.

‘But we want to develop connections not only between high-ranking diplomats, but also between people working on higher education, people working on clean water, people working on women’s empowerment. And that is exactly what we intend to do,’ she said.