Fri, 09 Dec 2022 12:44 PM (IST)
TERMING India as the most important bilateral partner of the US, Kurt Campbell, White House’s Asia coordinator, said Thursday that the bilateral relationship between the United States and India "deepened and strengthened" more rapidly than any other country over the last twenty years. The White House official further stressed, "India will not be a regular ally of the US but rather another independent great power".
Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Washington DC, Campbell said, "in his view India is the most important bilateral relationship for the United States in the 21st century", adding, that the US needs to invest even more of its capacity in building people to people ties, working together on technology, and other issues.
"India has a unique strategic character. It will not be an ally of the United States. It has a desire to be an independent, powerful state and it will be another great power. But I think there are reasons to believe that our strategic alignment is growing across the board in almost every arena," Campbell, as quoted by PTI, said.
Noting the fact that this "strategic alignment" of national interests is not all that is needed, Campbell said that there are inhibitions in both of the bureaucracies and there are many challenges.
"But I do believe that this is a relationship that should have some ambition. We should look at things that we can do together, whether it's in space, whether it's education, whether it's on climate, whether it's on technology, and really move in that direction. If you look over the last 20 years and look at the hurdles that have been surmounted and the depth of engagement between our two sides, it's remarkable," he said.
Speaking on Quad, a security dialogue between The US, Australia, Japan and India, Campbell acknowledged that there was some reluctance among Indian bureaucrats as they were ambivalent when President Joe Biden and his administration decided to take the Quad to the leader level.
"There were probably voices in their bureaucracy that were against it. But when President Biden made the direct appeal repeatedly to Prime Minister Modi, they decided that this was in their interests," he said.
Contrary to popular perception, he asserted that the India-US relationship is not simply built on anxiety around China. He attributed the deep bond between the nations to the Indian diaspora saying, "It is a deeper understanding of the importance of the synergies between our societies". He further said that the US is working very constructively with India on major initiatives like COVID-19 vaccine delivery, maritime domain awareness, and education.
(With PTI Inputs)