‘US hopes to find more common ground with growing world power India’

March 6th, 2010 - 11:06 am ICT by IANS  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, March 6 (IANS) With national interests converging, the US hopes to find more common ground with India, a growing world power that has a significant role to play on virtually all major challenges of the century, says a senior US official.

“We think that India has a significant role to play on virtually all of the major challenges that we face in this century, from global economic dislocation to energy security, climate change, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and violent extremism,” said Robert O. Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs.

“Given India’s history as a leading non-aligned movement nation, we have sometimes been at odds in the United Nations and India has opposed UN involvement on sensitive matters such as Kashmir,” he said at the Johns Hopkins University Model UN Conference Friday.

“Nonetheless, with our national interests converging, we hope to find more common ground with India in the coming years.”

India like the US understands the importance of the United Nations, Blake said, noting “India is one of several countries seeking a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, underlining the importance it attaches to the United Nations.”

“Soon to be the world’s most populous country, India already boasts a trillion-dollar-plus economy and is a growing world power,” he noted.

Blake recalled that last July, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited India and launched a Strategic Dialogue which called for increased collaboration in nearly every field, from developing renewable energy technology to fighting extremism.

India and three other South Asian nations - Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal - are among six countries that contribute more than 5,000 police and military personnel to UN peacekeeping operations, he said noting, “They have played a critical role in, for example, helping Haiti recover from the earthquake.”

In the case of US, the UN plays a helpful and necessary role in nearly every aspect of its operations, “particularly as we strive to build a functioning, efficient, and responsive democracy,” Blake said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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