India Would be a major US Partner in Asia-Pacific: Albright
June 26, 2012
By: Rebecca Aaberg | Printer Friendly
Former United States (US) Secretary of State Madeline Albright recently gave a speech about the role of India in advocating for democracy at the Institute of Social Sciences in New Delhi. The text of the press release is below.
New Delhi, June 25, 2012: Former US Secretary of State Dr. Madeleine Albright has said that India would be a major US partner in the Asia-Pacific region. Democracy, energy security, rescue and relief operations and patrolling of sea-lanes in the Indian Ocean are some of the major issues, where Washington’s and New Delhi’s interests broadly converge.
Dr. Albright made these observations today while participating in a Round Table discussion on “Indo-US Strategic Partnership” organized by the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi. She referred to five big ‘Umbrella Issues” that draw the two countries towards each other. These include terrorism, nuclear proliferation, growing rich-poor divide, energy and environment issues and restoring the good name of democracy. She does not think American policy in the Asia-Pacific region is guided by the China factor or geo-strategic considerations. There are issues that no one country can solve, hence there is a need to forge partnerships. Dr. Albright agreed with the comment made by the Economist magazine that India and United States are ‘less than allies, more than friends.’
Ambassador Lalit Mansingh, who moderated the discussion, explained why India was cautious in the UN Democracy Caucus. India did not see eye to eye with the US on its double standards on democracy promotion – US was all for democracy in Burma, but it backed Pakistani military. Lalit Mansingh also pointed out that there is a feeling in certain quarters that India should not become the permanent member of the US Security Council as the UN has become pretty ineffective. Instead, India should work more vigorously under groupings like the G20.
Senior diplomats, thinkers, strategic analysts and civil society representatives participated in the Round Table discussion.