Since he assumed office fifteen months ago, U.S. President Barack Obama has left no doubt that the United States is deeply invested in India's emergence as a global power. That is why India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the new Administration's first State visitor last year. During their meeting, President Obama referred to the U.S.-Indian relationship as "one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century."
The fact is that India is growing in economic strength, global importance, and influence. It is well on its way to becoming the world's most populous country, and it is among the world's fastest growing economies. India plays a central role in Asian affairs and ever more so in world affairs. It is thus strategically important to the interests of the United States.
"Never has there been a moment when India and America mattered more to one another. And never has there been a moment when partnership between India and America mattered more to the rest of the globe," said Department of State Under Secretary for Political Affairs William Burns.
"As two of the world's leading democracies, we can help build a new global commons -- an international system in which other democracies can flourish, human dignity is advanced, poverty is reduced, trade is expanded, our environment is preserved, violent extremists are marginalized, the spread of weapons of mass destruction is curbed, and new frontiers in science and technology are explored. That is the moment, and the promise, that lies before us."
"This Administration is deeply committed to supporting India's rise and to building the strongest possible partnership between us," said Under Secretary Burns. "We attach great significance to India's expanding role in East Asia and welcome our partnership across the region."
U.S. relations with Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China are very important, but those relations do not come at the expense of India, he said. "We refuse to accept the notion that somehow we can have strong relations with only one country in South Asia at a time.
"India and the United States have reached the stage where our individual success at home and abroad depends on our cooperation," said Under Secretary Burns. "If we get this moment right, Indians and Americans can have an enormously positive influence on each other's future, and on the course of the new century unfolding before us."