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May 12, 2013 at 07:52am IST

India most important partner in Asia, says US

Washington: There is no more important partner for the United States in Asia than India and the growing convergence interests and outlook has brought about unprecedented cooperation between the two nations on regional and global security, a top US official has said.

"President Obama has called our partnership with India a 'defining partnership for the 21st century'. And as we go about the much-talked about 'Asia rebalance', there's no more important partner for the United States in the region than India," said assistant secretary of state Robert Blake during a talk at Boston University's India Symposium in Boston.

"The growing convergence of our interests and outlook has brought about unprecedented cooperation on regional and global security, economics and trade, education, science and technology, clean energy, health, and counter-terrorism," he said.

India most important partner in Asia: US

US is preparing for the fourth round of the Strategic Dialogue with India, which will be held in New Delhi in June.

Blake said the governments of the two nations have worked hard, especially in the last decade, to broaden and deepen this cooperation. He said the US is preparating for the fourth round of the Strategic Dialogue, which will be held in New Delhi in June.

"Secretary Kerry will lead our delegation his first such dialogue with a major partner. And higher education will be a major focus: we will hold our Higher Education Dialogue together with the Strategic Dialogue, a clear demonstration of the growing importance of education and people-to-people ties to our bilateral relationship," he said.

Minister for Human Resources Development Pallam Raju will visit Washington next week to lay the groundwork to further India-US cooperation on expanding educational exchanges and partnerships.

"We will work together to help India achieve its ambitious goal to establish 200 community colleges; build the next cadre of America s India experts; and increase access to higher education through innovative use of technology," Blake said.

"The commitment by both governments to emphasise higher education collaboration underscores our shared belief that education is the lynchpin of the entrepreneurship and innovation that will drive our knowledge economies and growth and help us meet new challenges," he said.

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