US natural partner for India in quest for building resilient economy: FS Shringla

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New Delhi, Nov 19 (PTI) Underlining that the US is a natural partner for India in the quest for building a resilient economy, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Thursday said the remarkable feature of bilateral ties was the strong bipartisan support in America for strengthening its strategic partnership with India and work together on addressing global challenges.

At the Virtual Interaction with the US India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), Shringla said India looks forward to working with the new US administration for further strengthening and consolidating their multifaceted relationship for mutual benefit and economic prosperity.

His remarks come two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with US President-elect Joe Biden, as the two leaders discussed the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

They also reiterated their firm commitment to the strategic bilateral partnership.

This was the first interaction between the two leaders after Democrat Biden defeated incumbent president Donald Trump in the US presidential election.

Talking about the Info-US ties, Shringla said, 'We believe that the US is a natural partner for India in our quest for building a resilient economy.' 'One of the remarkable features of our bilateral ties is the strong bi-partisan support in the US to strengthen its strategic partnership with India and work together on addressing global challenges. We look forward to working with the new US administration for further strengthening and consolidating this multifaceted relationship for our mutual benefit and economic prosperity,' Shringla said.

The foreign secretary said it was his firm conviction that the India-US ties are only going to get stronger.

As two mature, pluralistic and vibrant democracies with shared values, India and the US are natural partners of choice in forging a stable, peaceful and prosperous 21st century, he said.

The India-US partnership is anchored in mutual trust and friendship, a shared commitment to democracy, converging strategic interests and the robust engagement of our citizens, he said.

'We have made significant progress in promoting mutually beneficial cooperation across sectors, especially in the areas of strategic and defence cooperation, energy, economic and people-to-people ties. The elevation of our bilateral relationship to a Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership in February this year illustrates this effectively,' Shringla said.

India and the US have collectively affirmed the importance of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, with firm support for ASEAN centrality, he said.

'Our objective remains advancing the security and economic interests of all countries having a legitimate stake in the Indo-Pacific region. At the Quad Ministerial meeting held in Tokyo last month, the Quad partners also emphasised the need to share best practices to combat COVID-19 and enhance the resilience of global supply chains,' he said.

As India assumes membership of the UN Security Council in January next year, it will be its endeavour to work together with its partners, including the US, towards seeking collective solutions to global challenges, he said.

In the re-imagined post-COVID world, reformed multilateralism shall be critical in addressing unprecedented challenges and delivering effective results, Shringla asserted. PTI ASK KJ