The White House on Thursday welcomed India’s prominent and effective role on a a wide range of global problems from climate change to maritime security.
A top White House official said, “We welcome India not just because it is consequential because we share and often promote norms about a rules-based order.”
Peter Lavoy, the White House’s point person for South Asia, addressing a Washington audience, said: “The US welcomes more prominent and effective role that India is playing on a wide range of world problems from climate change and global health to peace keeping, maritime security and cyber governance.”
According to a report in a news agency, Lavoy said the US-India partnership had come a long way in the past eight years, but the best is yet to come.
“We are handing over to the next team, a major defence partnership with India,” he said as he highlighted the vibrant dimensions of the Indo-US relationship.
“First a growing convergence on regional issues. Second deepening cooperation on defense trade and third broadening in security partnership,” said Lavoy, who is Senior Director for South Asia at the National Security Council (NSC).
During his speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), he said, “During the past six years of Obama administration, there has been growing convergence of views of the risks, threats and opportunities.”
“In part, this convergence has come apart as we made monumental efforts to overcome specific areas of mistrust,” he said, adding that over the years the two countries have built habits of co-operation in discussing the challenge they face.
He added that three regions where this co-operation has gained momentum are Afghanistan, Asia Pacific and Africa. Maritime security is the key area of co-operation between the two countries. Over the last few years, the US has significantly increased its consultations with India on their shared interest in Afghanistan, he said.
He further added that India has played an important role in the collective effort of bringing stability and prosperity to that war-torn country, committing more than $2 billion in assistance.
Today India does count in world affairs, but it has taken a long time for India’s aspiration to realise, he said as he recollected a 1949 speech of first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
“It is the most dynamic relationship that we have today. Each of the things that we are doing enables us to take this to the next level and have to simultaneously work on expanding the partnership in new domain,” he said in response to a question. “This is a unique relationship worldwide where we can’t choose between deepening and broadening. We have to do both simultaneously,” Lavoy added.