Indo-US ties looking at bigger Asian role: former US official

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NEW DELHI - The India-US relationship is moving beyond the subcontinent as the two are looking for cooperation in the Asian context, a former US state department official said here Thursday.

“The relationship is now Asian and less South Asian,” said Evan Feigenbaum, who left the US state department in 2009 as deputy assistant secretary of state in charge of South Asia.

Now an adjunct senior fellow with US-based think tank Council on Foreign Relations, he was talking in context of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s proposed visit to Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam later this month.

About a week later, US president Barack Obama shall be travelling to Indonesia, Vietnam and South Korea, after his India visit.

This illustrated that both the countries were now looking at ways to give the relationship some traction beyond South Asia.

He was speaking at a discussion on India-US ties, organized in the run-up to the visit of Obama in November.

Feigenbaum said that in fact the challenges in Indo-US relationship lay in India’s neighbourhood, with disagreements in management of the Af-Pak problem.

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