Washington: External Affairs Minster S M Krishna will meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington today for the third round of strategic India-US dialogue. The dialogue was announced by the two in Delhi in July 2009.
High on the agenda of the meeting today are issues related to Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Asia-Pacific region and their joint collaboration in third world countries.
Ahead of the key annual meeting, the co-hosts dismissed concerns that Indo-US relations have cooled since 2009. Rather, Ms Clinton insisted, that the ties "have never been stronger."
The two countries share major interests like stabilizing war-ravaged Afghanistan but are also currently embroiled in trade disputes and differ on key international issues like Iran. Both governments also face significant domestic political challenges amidst slowing economies.
"As you can see from this week's strategic dialogue meetings, our ties have never been stronger. And it's not just that, we are the oldest and the largest democracies. It's the strategic fundamentals of our relationship - our shared values, our economic systems and our diplomatic imperatives - that are drawing our interests into closer convergence in the 21st century. And that means we are working together like never before," Ms Clinton said.
Echoing the sentiment, Mr Krishna said he has "great confidence in the future of India-US economic partnership."
"I know that this is a time when a degree of skepticism has entered into the sentiment of the business on both sides. India and the United States have built a comprehensive architecture of engagement. But, we have also built something more priceless - goodwill and friendship; mutual confidence and respect; and, candor and comfort in our dialogue; and a belief in the value of this relationship for our two countries and the importance of this partnership for the world," he added
Speaking exclusively to NDTV, India's Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao, and US envoy to India, Nancy Jo Powell, admitted that there were impediments, but denied any setback to the ties between the two nations.
When asked about her comments for those who say that Indo-US relationship has not delivered on what was expected, Ms Rao promptly replied, "I would say an emphatic no. The relationship is going places. We have a lot of achievement to show from that and the fact that we are having the third strategic dialogue in which both our governments will take stock of the progress that we have made over the past few years and the tangible achievements will put to rest the lingering doubts that some may have about the future of this relationship. The relationship is in a very good place and the future is very bright," she said.
Ms Powell said she agreed with Ms Rao "emphatically." "The strategic dialogue is a great symbol for the official relationship that we have, how broad it, how deep it is and how much it is achieving."
Story first published:
June 13, 2012 09:58 IST