: International News
US India friendship, not a tit-for-tat business: Blake
Washington, May 14, 2011
The United States has voiced deep
disappointment at India did not choosing US bidders for its
$12 billion fighter jet deal but said it would not affect
their long-term friendship as "natural economic partners."
"The US-India partnership is a long-term friendship, not a
tit-for-tat business arrangement," Assistant Secretary of
State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, said Friday at
the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a
"We are natural economic partners. In fact, we are now
extending our economic partnership to benefit third
countries," he said speaking on "The Current State of US-India
Cooperation and Prospects for the Future."
"For the first time in our history, the United States and
India have jointly approached three African countries with a
proposal to collaborate on building agricultural capacity,"
"As a result, India has become an integral part of the
President's Feed the Future initiative, which has taken on
greater importance with the possible return of higher food
prices," he said.
Neither country can take the relationship for granted, Blake
said stressing the need to work together to ensure that the
initiatives launched during President Barack Obama's India
visit are implemented.
"This will build the political support in Washington and
Delhi, as well as Mumbai and Manhattan, to think more
ambitiously about what we can achieve, and where our
partnership will go."
Seeking support of "our people, our businesses, our diverse,
intertwined knowledge based societies" for the next chapter of
the US-India partnership, Blake cited a saying of Indian poet
laureate Rabindranath Tagore, "the great Bengali son and hero
to all Indians" that "you can't cross the sea merely by
standing and staring at the water."
Blake also voiced hope that India would pursue a new round of
economic reforms, including liberalising its retail and
defence sectors, after the recent conclusion of state assembly
"We've received some indications that there may be some
progress in some of these areas over the coming six months now
that this most recent round of elections is behind them," he
"This is a sovereign decision to be made by our Indian
friends, but this is something that is going to benefit them,"