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The Future Of the U.S. - India Partnership

U.S. Secretary of State William Burns delivers remarks at The Brookings Institute

"A strong U.S-India partnership benefits not only our two countries, but the entire world."

"Just as a strong India is in America’s interest, a strong America is in India’s interest, and a strong U.S-India partnership benefits not only our two countries, but the entire world," said President Barack Obama before the Indian Parliament last November.

That doesn't mean that we must always agree on everything, said State Department Deputy Secretary William Burns. "But no one should mistake the inevitable differences between two close, opinionated friends for loss of momentum -- or worse, the lack of a future.

"No single issue and no single breakthrough can or should define our partnership. What matters is its overall health, its steady progress, and the long-term investment required to sustain both," he said.

Three aspects of the growing U.S.-India partnership are particularly important: increasing our mutual prosperity; deepening cooperation across Asia and the Pacific; and efforts to solve global problems together.

The United States and India benefit from each other's prosperity. India is modernizing and lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. And because a prosperous India represents a good market for U.S. products, the U.S. is helping to build a new India through such projects as polio eradication, cooperation on cutting-edge technology, agriculture, science and space development.

"We are counting on India’s rise not just as an economic partner but as a global power -- one that engages everywhere from Latin America to the Middle East to East Asia. India’s leadership in promoting a more stable South Asia offers the hope of a more peaceful future for the region and the world," said Deputy Secretary Burns.

"We also hope that India will join us in working to strengthen Asia’s many regional institutions. ... India can make a decisive contribution ... to solving problems that no one country can solve on its own.

"America’s vision of a secure, stable, prosperous 21st century world has at its heart a strong partnership with a rising India," said Deputy Secretary Burns. "The question is not whether we have a future, or whether we will have a strategic partnership. The question is whether we are doing as much as we can to ensure that we realize its full promise. Few questions will matter more -- for both of us -- in the new century unfolding before us."