US laying foundation for indispensable partnership with India: Clinton

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Washington, Sept.9 (ANI): The United States is taking steps to lay the foundation for indispensable partnership with India, said Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

Addressing the Council on Foreign Relations here on Thursday, Clinton described India as the world's largest democracy, which has a very large convergence of fundamental values and a broad range of both national and regional interests.

"We are laying the foundation for an indispensible partnership. President Obama will use his visit in November to take our relationship to the next level," she said.

Clinton, who was addressing the CFR after a year, also said that Washington is keenly interested in deepening engagement withmerging centers of influence.

"We and our allies, indeed, people everywhere have a stake and they're playing constructive, regional, and global roles. Because being a 21st century power means having to accept a share of the burden of solving common problems, and of abiding by a set of the rules of the road, so to speak, on everything from intellectual property rights to fundamental freedoms," she said.

"So through expanded bilateral consultation and within the context of regional and global institutions, we do expect these countries to begin to assume greater responsibility," she added.

Referring to the recent Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the United States and China, Clinton said that for the first time, development was on the agenda, something that the Chinese are doing in conjunction with their commercial interests.

In this regard, Washington and Beijing are looking at ways to cooperate better cooperate and perhaps share lessons learned about how best to pursue development.

"In one country in Africa, we're building a hospital, the Chinese are building a road; we thought it was a good idea that the road would actually go to the hospital. It's that kind of discussion that we think can make a difference for the people that we are both engaged with," the Secretary of State said.

With Russia, Washington has offered a relationship based on not only mutual respect, but also mutual responsibility, she said.

"In the course of the last 18 months, we have a historic new arms reduction treaty, which the Senate will take up next week; cooperation with China and the UN Security Council on tough new sanctions against both Iran and North Korea; a transit agreement to support our efforts in Afghanistan; a new bilateral presidential commission and civil society exchange that are forging closer people-to-people ties," she said.

"Our goal is to establish productive relationships that survive the times when we do not agree and that enable us to continue to work together. And, a central element of that is to engage directly with the people of these nations.

Technology and the speed of communication, along with the spread of democracy, at least in technology, has empowered people to speak up and demand a say in their own futures. Public opinions and passions matter even in authoritarian states. So in nearly every country I visit, I don't just meet with government officials," she said.(ANI)

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