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Obama's visit will be remebered for the strategic cooperation

November 16, 2010 10:44 IST

The Obama administration's point man for South Asia, Robert Blake has said while former President George W Bush's March 2006 visit will be remembered solely for the US-India civilian nuclear deal, President Obama's visit to India will be remembered for the nailing down of global strategic cooperation between Washington and New Delhi.

Briefing reporters at the Foreign Press Center on Obama's trip and its achievements, Blake said, "Clearly President Bush's visit will be remembered mostly because of the civilian nuclear deal, which turned one of the most significant irritants in our bilateral relations into an area of cooperation. I think now, we are entering into a sort of new, more mature phase of our relations, where increasingly we are thinking an acting strategically about how the United States can work at the global level," he said, when asked what Obama's trip would be remembered for.

Blake said, "What this visit will be remembered for is that it will mark really the first time that we have really embarked on serious, specific, global strategic cooperation in areas like open government, in areas like agriculture, or in women's empowerment, or in working together in Africa, working together in Afghanistan."

"We talked about some of the cooperation that we are doing together to protect the air and sea and other lines of trade—things like that," he added. "So, this is global strategic partnership now and we are beginning to put flesh on that in very concrete ways."

"And, the other part of this that people sometimes forget, is the very important value of having the two largest democracies in the world, two of the largest economies in the world—market-based economies—and then even more importantly, our two societies working together," said Blake.

He also said, "There is this vast complex well of our scientists, of our business people and so many others, who are cooperating together in their societies knowledge-based innovation that both the United States and India have."

Thus, Blake argued, "That's what really makes this a global strategic partnership and it's something that is going to be sustained over many, many years, and it's a partnership that we have confidence will grow over time because of these shared interests, shared values that we have."

He predicted that "people will look on this visit and will say that this visit really marks the concrete beginning of this global cooperation." 

Aziz Haniffa in Washington