US keen to expand ties with Modi’s India

By Arun Kumar,

Washington : Recognising that India is one of its most important strategic partnerships, the Obama administration is keen to push boldly on expanding the envelope of cooperation with the new Narendra Modi government, analysts suggest.

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“I think Prime Minister Modi has gotten off to a splendid start on both the domestic and foreign policy fronts,” Ashley J. Tellis, senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington think told IANS.

“There is much hard work which lies ahead-and involves difficult policy choices particularly in regards to economic management,” Tellis, who as senior adviser to the Bush administration was intimately involved in negotiating the civil nuclear agreement with India, said.

The Obama administration is looking forward to working closely with Modi and a successful visit to Washingtion by the prime minister in September, he said.

“There is a clear recognition here that India is one of our most important strategic partnerships and the administration is hoping to push boldly on expanding the envelope of cooperation,” Tellis said.

Meanwhile, at the State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters Thursday that US investment in India had been a key part of US discussions with India for a long time even before Modi took over.

“We certainly talk quite a bit about the economic relationship with India, whether it’s investing in certain parts of its economy; whether it’s increasing exports and imports and private sector trade,” she said.

“That’s certainly been a key part of our discussions with the Government of India, not just since Mr. Modi has been in office, but before that for a long time as well.”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])