US 'primed to unlock potential' of India ties: Obama

Washington, Feb 7: The White House released its first National Security Strategy since 2010 with President Barack Obama saying as part of its rebalance to Asia and the Pacific, the US was "primed to unlock the potential of its relationship with India."

"The scope of our cooperation with China is unprecedented, even as we remain alert to China's military modernization and reject any role for intimidation in resolving territorial disputes," he wrote in the introduction to the 29-page document released Friday.

US President Barack Obama

The US must continue to lead "from a position of strength," Obama said. "But, this does not mean we can or should attempt to dictate the trajectory of all unfolding events around the world."

"As powerful as we are and will remain, our resources and influence are not infinite. And in a complex world, many of the security problems we face do not lend themselves to quick and easy fixes," he added.

The US "rebalance to Asia and the Pacific is yielding deeper ties with a more diverse set of allies and partners," Obama wrote.

"When complete, the Trans-Pacific Partnership will generate trade and investment opportunities - and create high-quality jobs at home - across a region that represents more than 40 percent of global trade," he said.

"We are primed to unlock the potential of our relationship with India."

Later explaining the strategy at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice said Obama's recent trip to India had "strengthened another critical partnership."

It "will deliver economic and security benefits for both our nations and the broader region, and help lift up the lives of more than a billion people," she said.

"We focus - every day - on the crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, but we are simultaneously rebalancing to the regions that will do more to determine the course of the 21st century-East Asia and India, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas," Rice said.

"As the balance of economic power changes, so do expectations about influence over international affairs," said the document.

"In particular, India's potential, China's rise, and Russia's aggression all significantly impact the future of major power relations."

"In South Asia, we continue to strengthen our strategic and economic partnership with India," it said.

"As the world's largest democracies, we share inherent values and mutual interests that form the cornerstone of our cooperation, particularly in the areas of security, energy, and the environment," the strategy document added.

The US supported "India's role as a regional provider of security and its expanded participation in critical regional institutions," it said.

"We see a strategic convergence with India's Act East policy and our continued implementation of the rebalance to Asia and the Pacific," the document said.

"At the same time, we will continue to work with both India and Pakistan to promote strategic stability, combat terrorism, and advance regional economic integration in South and Central Asia, it said.

As part of its counter-terrorism strategy, the document said, the US "will also work with the countries of the region, including Pakistan, to mitigate the threat from terrorism and to support a viable peace and reconciliation process to end the violence in Afghanistan and improve regional stability."

With China, the document said, the US was "building a constructive relationship that expands practical cooperation across a wide spectrum of issues from global health to non-proliferation."

This, it said, was being done "even as we confront real differences over human rights, cyber-enabled economic espionage, and the use of coercion to advance territorial claims."


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