Greater Indo-US cooperation needed on non-proliferation and defence: Burns

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Washington, Nov 21 (ANI): Outlining the Obama Administration's New Strategic Dialogue, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns said that greater Indo-US cooperation can be expected on counter-terrorism, reconstruction in Afghanistan, non-proliferation, and defence sector during Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's visit to the United States.

Dr. Singh will visit Washington on November 24, 2009, becoming the first state visitor to be hosted by President Barack Obama. This event will be widely viewed as evidence of the importance attached to maintaining the Indo-US relations, according to the policy brief of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Discussing the Obama Administration's approach to Indo-US relations, Burns said the United States will continue to engage India on such basic issues like education, scientific exchange, and human development, it will emphasize global security challenges.

Ashley J. Tellis, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, specializing in international security, defense, and Asian strategic issues, said the White House should seize the moment to make a bold announcement about the United States support to India's permanent membership in the UN Security Council during Dr. Singh's visit.

"Additionally, the United States and India can cooperate along several dimensions like non-proliferation and climate change," he added.

Tellis and Teresita Schaffer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies stressed the need to focus the bilateral dialogue on high politics and deeper, more substantive concerns.

They warned against allowing issues of low politics - what Tellis called the "dominance of ordinariness"- to overshadow discussion on core strategic interests.

"Both the United States and India will therefore seek to use Dr. Singh's forthcoming visit to showcase the promise of bilateral cooperation and to foster enhanced partnership in the five key areas agreed upon earlier this year-strategic cooperation; energy and climate change; education and development; economics, trade, and agriculture; science and technology, health, and innovation," Tellis said

Tellis predicted that the United States will use the occasion of Dr. Singh's visit to reaffirm American commitment to transforming the relationship, to provide reassurance that US and Indian goals are aligned, and to build on complementaries that exist between the two countries. (ANI)

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