India’s Look East policy central for Asia-Pacific growth: Clinton (Lead)

May 7th, 2012 - 11:56 am ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, May 7 (IANS) India’s Look East policy was “central” to the growth of the entire Asia-Pacific region, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said here Monday.

“India’s Look East policy will be central to the growth of the whole Asia-Pacific region,” Clinton said while addressing a gathering at the La Martiniere School for Girls here.

Clinton, who arrived here Sunday on the first leg of her three-day India visit, will leave for New Delhi after meeting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Referring to the situation in Myanmar, she said: “India stands in a strong position to help the people of Burma as they navigate their way through economic and political reforms.”

Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party swept last month’s by-elections, was sworn in as a member of Myanmar’s parliament May 2. The Nobel laureate had been placed under house arrest on numerous occasions since she began her political career, totalling 15 of the past 21 years.

While participating in an interaction anchored by NDTV, Clinton said that she was excited to be in Kolkata.

“This is very exciting for me to have this chance to back in this wonderful city after so many years…I was last here in 1995 honouring the work of Mother Teresa.”

On India-US ties, she said that the relationship between “our two democracies is going to define the kind of future we have”.

“Increasingly also, our strategic interests are aligned. India is taking on more responsibilities which is good news,” she said. “The heart of India-US relations is the people-to-people relationships.”

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