The United States welcomes India as a rising power and backs its inclusion as a permanent member of a reformed and expanded United Nations Security Council, Secretary of State John Kerry has said ahead of his maiden visit to New Delhi.
In a video message for Indians ahead of the next week's Indo-US strategic dialogue, Kerry said that this is a critical ongoing conversation between the two countries.
"It's one that demonstrates our firm belief that a strong India is in America's national interest. The United States not only welcomes India as a rising power; we fervently support it," Kerry said in his nearly five minute video message, which he starts with Namaskar.
"That's why President Obama (Barack) and I support India's inclusion as a member, a permanent member, of a reformed and expanded United Nations Security Council," he said.
Kerry said he is looking forward to visiting some of "extraordinary historic sites" in New Delhi and excited to meet with the next generation of Indian leaders. He said it is safe to say that India-US collaboration has never been more important than it is today.
"As (the US) President Obama has said, the friendship between our two nations is one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century," Kerry said.
"Today, the US and India collaborate closely in almost every field of human endeavour. Together, we are tackling shared challenges and making the most of new opportunities. From higher education to clean energy, from counter-terrorism to space science, we are seizing new opportunities to work together, and in doing so, we're increasing the prosperity and security of both of our peoples," he said. He said the US and India share a strong and enduring commitment to Afghanistan's peace and prosperity.
"India is making important contributions through its reconstruction and development work. And we also welcome India's leadership in the Asia-Pacific region," Kerry said.
This is the time for both the US and India to challenge themselves in order to reach higher, in order to strengthen the bonds, and to realise the full potential of partnership, he said.