India a natural partner for US: Consul General

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Chennai, Jan 4 (UNI) Observing that India is a natural partner for US, US Consul General David T Hopper today said both the countries needed partners to combat the negative trends of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

Speaking at the launch of ''Semester Abroad Programme'' of the SRM University at its campus in suburban Kattankulathur here in the presence of University Chancellor T R Pachamuthu and Vice-Chancellor P Sathyanarayanan, he said US and India share a common view on how the world should be organised.

''Respect and support for democratic institutions, fighting the war on terrorism, the globalisation of supply and demand, the communications revolution and other trends have pushed us towards one another,'' he added.

Though being a natural partner, India and US were also brought together by the darker forces unleashed by globalisation, climate change, energy security, international crime and drugs, diseases that cross borders like Aids and Avian Influenza, human trafficking persons, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

''Both India and US need partners to combat these negative trends as both the countries are natural partners on each of these issues,'' he said.

Mr Hopper said India and US had an unfulfilled relation for five decades that was marked by fractious friendship in the second half of the 20th century after India's independence.

''We are now increasingly close partners in global politics by building better military relations. Even the economic ties have expanded in the last decade with the US exports to India doubling between 2002 and 2005 from four billion US dollars to eight billion dollars,'' he added.

After decades of promise, the US and India were drawing together in a natural global partnerhship.

''Fostering this partnership is one of the most important initiatives of American foreign policy--a joint bipartisan initiative pursued by President Bush and Clinton over the last decade,'' Mr Hopper said.

India's emergence on the world stage and the Indo-US relations are among the most important and enduring legacies of the first decade of the 21st century, he said.

UNI GV AJ PDT RK1941

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