Support for India meeting ground for Obama,Romney

“The President’s first state dinner was for the Indian Prime Minister,” Flournoy said

Written by Press Trust Of India | Washington | Published: July 27, 2012 12:48:17 am

Despite differences over various foreign policy issues,both President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney share a common ground when it comes to the US policy of support towards India and Japan,key members of both the campaigns have said.

The Obama and Romney campaigns,during a discussion hosted by the Brookings Institute,a prestigious Washington-based thinktank,also appeared to be agreeing over their policy towards Pakistan.

“I think this (India) is an area where we’ve had a lot of,frankly,continuity and bipartisan support. India is an important security partner today. Our military relationship has never been closer. That is growing,” said Michele Flournoy,co-chair of the National Security Advisory Committee of Barack Obama’s ‘Obama for America’ campaign.

Referring to joint military exercises between India and the US,Flournoy said New Delhi “exercises more” with the US than with any other country and both the countries were growing their cooperative efforts on counter piracy and other things in the Indian Ocean.

Terming India a “very powerful partner” of the US in Asia with which it shares a number of “common values”,Flournoy said the Obama administration has “invested a lot” in the relationship between the two nations.

“The President’s first state dinner was for the Indian Prime Minister,” she said.

Rich Williamson,senior adviser for Foreign and Defence Policy of ‘Romney for President’ campaign,also agreed with Flournoy’s views and praised the Bush administration for “strengthening and renewing” relationship with India.

On Pakistan,both agreed that the situation in Pakistan was difficult and relationship was a complicated one,with Williamson arguing that the US should look at conditionality for its aid to Pakistan,given its continued tolerance to the Taliban forces.

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