Wisner comes out with seven points for increased Indo-US relations

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Mumbai, Sep 8 (UNI) Asserting that irrespective of the outcome of the US Presidential elections, the relationship bewteen India and the US would grow and flourish, former US ambassador in India Frank G Wisner today cautioned the two countries to make a modest and determined effort instead of building a long hope.

Addressing members of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on ''After US elections: Next Steps in the US-India relationship'', Mr Wisner, who is currently Vice Chairman of America International Group (AIG), urged the two countries to prioritise the relationship instead of resting on laurels on terms such as ''natural allies'' and ''strategic partners''.

More reasonable goals need to be set and partnerships emerge from equalities, he said, adding, over the next 10 to 15 years sustained efforts should be made to build up a deep partnership, which should not only involve both the governments but also private partnerships.

Referring to the strained relationship between the two countries during the last five decades, he said the way the two countries handled the Indo-US nuclear deal had opened a new chapter in the relationship and the past would not be a hinderance in the future.

Listing out seven thoughts that require to cement the relationship between the two countries on a much firmer note, he said the two new administrations in the US (after November elections) and India (after Parliament elections next year) should intensify high level cooperation developed in the past ten years.

His thoughts included greater clarity between the two countries on the South Asian region, reciprocity in various issues to build relationship, development of democratic institutions, respect each other to manage differences on various issues, such as Iran and Myanmar, intelligently and to make strong efforts to get India a membership in APAC, OECD, IAEA and G8, taking into account the country's power in the world stage.

He said the other foremost move should be to avoid impediments to extend international trade. He made a specific point to the failure of the Doha round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks and said it was basically because of the divergent stance taken by the US and India. There was need for the two countries to iron out the differences in a more intelligent way and find a way out, he added.

Mr Wisner also called for broadening the relationship between the two countries by adding more people and institutions.

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