India sees its future with America, America sees its future with India: US envoy

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New Delhi, Jul 11 (PTI) In an interconnected world, "no war is distant anymore", US envoy Eric Garcetti said on Thursday and asserted that one must not just stand for peace, but also take concrete actions to make sure those who don't play by peaceful rules, their war machines "cannot continue unabated".

"And that is something the US needs to know and that India needs to know together," the ambassador said during a keynote address at an event here as he also pitched for forging a stronger partnership between New Delhi and Washington envisioning them together as an "unstoppable force for good in the world".

His comments come in the backdrop of multiple ongoing conflicts in the world, including in Ukraine and Israel-Gaza.

In his address at a defence news conclave here, he described India-US ties as deep, ancient and increasingly broad, and said "today I think that culminates together as we look at the US-India defence partnership".

The event was held at the Unites Services Institution (USI), Delhi, and attended by many defence experts.

"We don't just see our future in India and India doesn't just sees its future with the US, but the world can see great things in our relationship. In other words, there are countries on the sidelines hoping this relationship works. Because, if it works, it doesn't just become a counterbalance, it becomes a place where we are developing our weapons together, integrating our training together," Garcetti said.

In times of emergencies, whether that be a natural disaster or god forbid, a human-caused war, "the US and India will be a powerful ballast against the waves that will sweep over Asia and other parts of the world", he asserted.

"And I think, we all know that we are interconnected in the world, no war is distant anymore. And we must not just stand for peace, we must take concrete actions to make sure those who don't play by peaceful rules, that their war machines cannot continue unabated. And that is something the US needs to know and that India needs to know together," the envoy said.

"In the past three years, we have witnessed countries which have ignored sovereign borders. I dont' have to remind how important borders are, it's a central principle to peace in our world," he added.

The American ambassador to India underlined that he had come to the event not to teach, preach or lecture, but always to listen in and learn and remind of their "commonly shared values".

"That when we stand on those principles and stand together, even in difficult times, we are friends, that we can show that principles are the guiding light of peace in our world. And together the world's two largest democracies can enhance the security, the stability of our region," he said.

Underlining various areas of commonalty in India-US and its potential, the envoy said, "India sees its future with America, America sees its future with India." "Any objective observer will see that. We see it in our commerce, we see it in our people and certainly we see it in our security and future," he added.

In his address, he also spoke of the historic state visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US in June 2023.

"And a year after the prime minister came for that historic (visit), yes, one of the highlights of post-Independence India's relations with the US, there has nothing that has died down in enthusiasm, the focus, the relationship of Americans towards India," the envoy said.

Describing the essence of the bilateral ties as "commitment", he said, "It is a relationship. It is true, it is trusting and it is tried and it is tested." "Love is the only thing you can give more and receive more of it back. It is not a finite thing, it's not a win or lose, it is not a zero-sum game. It is important for us as Americans and as Indians, the more we put into this relationship, the more we will get out (of it). The more we insist on kind of cynical calculations in the place of trusted relationships, the less we will get," the ambassador said.

He said the US-India relationship is "wide and it is deeper than it has ever been" but it is "not yet deep enough". But this senator or this member of the Congress concerned about an NGO, concerned about a religious group, concerned about a human rights issue, concerned about a thing that "sometimes we pretend don't exist, but we must actually confront and find a good language to talk about", he said.

"If you look at the circles that unite our values, they are not completely concentric, but they mostly overlap, I would say 80-90 per cent," the envoy said. Garcetti said "our heads and hearts are aligned" but the question is can the two countries "move the feet together" and build that continued deep trust and have the outcomes that meet the security threats of this moment.

"Because if we only look inward, neither the US nor India in the Indo-Pacific will keep up with the pace of threats today," he said, adding, "be they, state actors on your border that we are also concerned about, in this region and other regions", be that climate change and the associated threats that US sees in this country. "The stakes for our technological innovation together, the stakes for our climate action together, the stakes for our military cooperation have never been higher because pace of change has never been faster," Garcetti asserted.

He described the US-India defence partnership as one which stands "among the most consequential" in the world. PTI KND AS AS

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