Page 53 - IACC Newsletter November 2012 Issue no. 7

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State’s Burns Cites Strategic, Economic, People Ties with India
Deputy Secretary of State William Burns
The United States and India, linked by “a steady convergence of interests and values,” have created a vitally important
partnership based on strategic cooperation and economic and people-to-people ties, according to Deputy Secretary of
State William Burns. “The essence of the vital partnership that we’re building lies in a simple truth. For the first time, for
both of us, our individual success at home and abroad depends significantly on our cooperation,” Burns said in
Washington recently.
Burns said that the United States and India have a strong interest in a peaceful future for Afghanistan and share a long-
term commitment to sustainable growth for Afghanistan's economy, strong democratic institutions in Afghanistan and
an Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process. “Afghanistan will need massive private investment and far greater
economic linkages to its neighbors,” he said. The deputy secretary praised India for committing more than $2 billion in
development assistance to Afghanistan since 2001, and noted that Afghanistan already sends one-quarter of its exports
to India despite not having direct access to India’s markets. India is engaged in negotiations with Turkmenistan, Pakistan
and Afghanistan to build a gas pipeline that will contribute to the creation of a New Silk Road, he added.
The deputy secretary said the United States and India are “united by our experience of tragedy and terror, shared
threats in Afghanistan and a shared vision for a peaceful and open Asia-Pacific.” Cooperation in counterterrorism, which
did not exist until a few years ago, is now robust and extends to all levels of policy and law enforcement, he said.
India has bought billions of dollars of U.S. defense equipment in the past four years, even as the defense relationship
evolves toward co-production and joint research, Burns said. To keep pace with India’s rising global importance, the
United States supports India’s push to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, he said.
The deputy secretary said India already is exercising global leadership in anti-terrorism efforts, sanctions against Iran,
supporting elections in Egypt and staffing peacekeeping operations.
Burns said the United States' and India's long-term economic interests are mutually reinforcing. He pointed out that the
United States is India’s most important partner in its modernization, which is lifting hundreds of millions of its citizens
out of poverty. U.S. investment in India increased more than tenfold between 2000 and 2010, to $27 billion. During that
period, India’s investment in the United States grew from $200 million to nearly $5 billion. “We have, literally, never
been so invested in each other’s success,” he said.
The United States wants to conclude an investment treaty with India that will expand on recent reforms, offer strong
rules to protect investors and guarantee transparency, and provide effective means to resolve disputes. He said the
United States is eager to partner with India to build civil nuclear energy plants, roads, power grids, seaports and airports.