U.S.-India ties strong, secretary says

July 2, 2010 at 11:43 AM

WASHINGTON, July 2 (UPI) -- The United States and India are natural partners because of common democratic and strategic interests, a top U.S. defense official said in Washington.

Michele Flournoy, U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, told delegates at the Asia Society in Washington that the United States enjoys a broad-based friendship with India.

"This bond is grounded in common democratic values and converging interests that make India and U.S. natural partners," she said. "The U.S. and India have an overarching shared interest in promoting global stability and security."

The defense official told the members that defense cooperation between India and the United States was important not only for Central Asia but also for the international community.

Both countries, she added, were working hard to solidify bilateral military relations.

"The growth and comprehensiveness of this relationship is nothing short of remarkable," she said. "My Indian counterparts now tell me that their defense and security relations with the United States are as close as they are with any nation."

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