India to play a crucial role in US relationship with Asia for McCain campaign

September 18th, 2008 - 8:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

Washington, Sep 18 (ANI): India will play a crucial role in Americas relations with Asia under Republican presidential candidate John McCain if he gets elected as the next US President, said Ashley Tellis, adviser on Asia Policy to McCain campaign.

Speaking to ANI in Washington, Tellis who is Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said that for McCain campaign, India becomes a crucial factor in ensuring an open Asia.

Tellis said that McCain is committed to completing India-US civil nuclear agreement without any changes if it is not cleared during President Bushs tenure.

The first and the most obvious is that he will commit to completing the civil nuclear agreement if it is not completed by the time President Bush departs in January 2009. He has publicly confirmed his commitment to the civil nuclear agreement, said Tellis.

McCain wanted the agreement to be completed in exactly the form that President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed on July 18, without any changes to the fundamental definition of that agreement, he added.

A global atomic cartel on September 6, decided to lift a 34-year-old ban on nuclear trade with New Delhi, a crucial step to sealing a controversial US-India civilian nuclear accord.

The NSG waiver paves the way for the controversial US-Indian atomic energy deal, still to be ratified by the US Congress.

Washington says the fuel and technology deal would forge a strategic partnership with the world’’s largest democracy, help India meet rising energy demand in an environmentally sound way and open nuclear commerce worth billions of dollars.

Tellis further added that South Asia held a fundamental position in McCain’’s Administration as the presidential candidate felt that it would play an important role in assuring America’’s economic prosperity.

Working towards that goal, Tellis said McCain planned to expand very strongly Indo-US economic ties by completing a bilateral investment treaty with India and to put in place the building blocks for a free trade agreement with India.

About resolving the Kashmir issue that has been straining the relations between India and Pakistan, Tellis said that under McCain’’s Administration Washington would not act as mediator between the two countries in resolving the issue but would encourage both sides to implement the ”contours to the solution of the problem of Kashmir which they have already agreed upon”.

Bush Administration had time and again asked Pakistan to refrain from instigating terror activities in India especially in Kashmir for which New Delhi has been blaming Islamabad.

Addressing to the rampant terrorism in South Asia, Tellis said that McCain Administration would pay extraordinary importance to the region, as achieving success in South Asia is critical to vital US national security interests.

He said the ungoverned region between Pakistan and Afghanistan commonly known as FATA has become a breeding ground for terror and tackling the problem there, has a primacy in America’’s national security. (ANI)

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