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'India set to be a success story of our time'

Last updated on: June 10, 2011 15:05 IST

'India set to be a success story of our time'

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India, fuelled by a young, dynamic and educated population, is all set to be a success story of 'our time', a top Obama Administration official said on Friday.

Noting that the country was on track to have the largest economy by 2050, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake said, "India is a rising giant whose influence is being felt not only in the Indian Ocean, but in the Americas, in Africa, West Asia, and in Central Asia."

"Its rise -- fuelled by a young, optimistic, dynamic, educated population -- will be one of the great stories of our time," Blake said in his remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

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"Our strategic relationship can make the world more secure and democratic, while our commercial partnerships can produce novel products that meet the needs of the 21st century consumer and create millions of new jobs in each of our countries," he said.

"Our people, our businesses, our diverse, intertwined knowledge-based societies will support the next chapter of the US-India partnership," he said in his speech.

Blake said the global strategic partnership between the United States and India is founded on shared values and exceptional people-to-people ties.

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Image: Indian Parliament.
Photographs: Reuters
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"But we must remember that this is a long-term project. Neither country can take the relationship for granted.

"We need to work together to ensure that the spirit of President (Barack) Obama and Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh's November 2009 summit is carried forward through concrete steps," he said.

"Such achievements will build the political support in Washington and Delhi, as well as Mumbai and Manhattan, to think more ambitiously about what we can achieve, and where our partnership will go in the rest of the 21st century," he said.

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Blake said the ties between the two countries are poised to expand more in coming months.

"We just held the inaugural Homeland Security Dialogue in New Delhi, with a US delegation led by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.

"This landmark event showed our two countries' deep commitment to countering the global and regional terrorist threats posed by al-Qaeda and its allies," Blake said.

"This month will see bilateral talks on arms control and international security in Vienna, visits to the US by the Indian Finance and Commerce Ministers, and a possible visit from the head of India's opposition BJP.

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"The High Technology Cooperation Group plans to meet this summer to explore further cooperation to continue expanding high technology trade between our democracies," he said.

"We are also stepping up our cooperation with India in multilateral, regional forums, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum, to be held this year shortly after the Strategic Dialogue," said the US official.

Recognising India's regional and global leadership, Blake said Prime Minister Singh's recent visit to Kabul underscored India's strong initiative to support international efforts to rebuild a secure, stable Afghanistan.

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Image: A young girl holds Indian national flag during the India's Independence Day.
Photographs: Jagadeesh Nv/Reuters
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"India has assisted with critical infrastructure such as power stations and the Parliament building, and small development projects like health care facilities and water wells. We also greatly appreciated the Prime Minister's public support for Afghan-led reconciliation efforts," he said.

"The Prime Minister likewise has also shown leadership and courage in advancing the current thaw in India-Pakistan relations.

"Following the cricket diplomacy launched by Prime Ministers from both sides, the commerce secretaries of the two countries met last month in Islamabad and announced ambitious commitments to enhance trade and commercial ties," he said.

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"India's economic rise presents a huge opportunity for Pakistan. A bilateral breakthrough could provide a catalyst for wider regional economic integration in the South and Central Asian region," Blake said.

"But India's efforts to make the world more safe and secure do not end at its regional borders.

"Prime Minister Singh undertook a momentous trip to Africa, where he pledged over $5 billion in development deals and encouraged counterterrorism cooperation. . .The India model for encouraging growth in Africa is very impressive," he added.


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