Home > US Edition > Report
US beginning to acknowledge India
as a major power: Advani
Aziz Haniffa in Washington |
June 11, 2003 14:03 IST
Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani on Tuesday said that the United States is getting around to accepting India as a major power.
"The response I got convinced me that the American government is earnestly endeavoring to recognise India as a major power. That kind of relationship is being consciously built up," he told mediapersons at the Indian embassy at the end of his two-day stay in Washington.
Rounding off his visit, on Tuesday he met his host Vice-President Dick Cheney and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.
The latter meetings were, however, overshadowed by his meeting with President George W Bush on Monday, where the two discussed virtually everything that had to be talked about in the burgeoning Indo-US relations.
Advani said he had "expected my meetings to cover the strategic nature of the India-US relationship and our agenda for bilateral cooperation in the months ahead."
"In line with this suggestion and in consonance with my own expectations, my interaction with the US leadership has helped in promoting both these objectives," he said.
He said National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice had "conveyed to me that further steps were being taken to ensure progress on all issues on the bilateral agenda, including the 'trinity' issues - cooperation in space exploration, cooperation in nuclear energy and promotion of high-technology trade - in order to provide tangible evidence of the changed relationship."
Asked what had changed in the equation with Washington since his last visit in January 2002, Advani said, "Last time, it was focused almost entirely on the problem of terrorism and my visit certainly seemed to be Pakistan-centric."
"This time it is not so. Pakistan did figure in the talks, terrorism did figure in the talks, but not as much as last time."
On the perceived US double standards on terrorism, Advani said, "The American government is conscious of all the facts, but every government has its foreign policy interests to safeguard. These may be based upon certain assessments with which India may not agree. But that's a different matter."
"Cross-border terrorism, as far as India is concerned, is a problem which is essentially India's own and India is determined to overcome this problem on its own, though we do feel that the international climate created against terrorism after September 11 has been of great help to us and will continue to be of great help to us."
Describing his meeting with Cheney, Advani said, "It reflected the same warmth and positive spirit that characterised all my other official interactions with senior members of the US government."
"Our discussions covered a range of issues, bilateral, regional and international. We spoke of the many common challenges, including combating Al Qaeda and its extended family, wanton dissemination of weapons of mass destruction and their potential marriage with terrorism."
His meeting with Tom Ridge focused on "security issues such as border management, airport and seaport security and cooperation on combating potential threats to internal security."
Advani in US: Complete Coverage