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Friday, May 15, 2009

U.S. to work with India as global partner

Washington: A top U.S. official on Thursday said the Obama Administration is looking forward to work with the new government in India, which it considers a global partner.

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Richard Boucher said the U.S. Administration is committed to take forward the relationship that has grown at an extremely fast pace in the last one decade both under the Clinton Administration followed by the Bush era.

“We look forward to working with whatever Indian people choose,” Mr. Boucher told a group of South and Central Asian journalists here in his farewell meeting.

“We had an extremely fast pace of growth of U.S.-India relations in last 10-12 years. It happened in two different [U.S.] administrations with two different [Indian political] parties in two different countries. We had Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. and the BJP and Congress-led governments in India that have carried this momentum forward. I expect that to continue.”

The Administration wants to continue to work with India as a global partner and to work with India in ways it is meaningful to the Indian people, he said. “So we look forward to having a new government in India with whom we can work with. Whoever the Indian people pick, it’s going to be fine with us.”

About the issues that the Administration would like to take up with the new government, Mr. Boucher said there are some issues which comes naturally.

Terror groups

Besides, these, there are issues wherein the American and Indian people are heavily involved with each other where both the respective government needs to speak out, he said, adding that these include education, families and visas. “And then there is... how do we set our agenda, how can we expand [our relationship],” he said.

He said it was “important” for Pakistan to eliminate the groups that carry out terror attacks against India.

Mr. Boucher’s remark comes at a time when the Obama Administration is reluctant to support a Congressional legislation which puts this as a condition in lieu of the U.S. aid to Islamabad.

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