Washington: India-US relationship is one of the “great success stories” under President Barack Obama during whose term it witnessed an unprecedented level of cooperation and bipartisan support for mutual benefit, a top presidential advisor said, days ahead of the inauguration of Donald Trump administration.
Peter Lavoy, Senior Director for South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, White House, also said that deepening and expansion of partnership with India on a whole host of issues are of critical importance to the US.
“This (India-US relationship) is really one of the great success stories of the Obama Administration,” Lavoy told PTI.
Lavoy, who has been working on South Asian issues, in particular on India-Pakistan issues for past several decades in various capacities in the US government, exuded confidence that the relationship would continue to strengthen further given the bipartisan support it has in both the countries.
“When you talk about expectations for the future, I think, all the signals point to this continued trajectory ? deepening and expanding partnership,” Lavoy said.
Outgoing President Obama inherited what essentially was a bipartisan issue towards India.
“I think, this is how we are handing off the relationship from President Obama to his successor. It is very much a bipartisan issue. So I think, on both sides of the aisle in the US there is a very strong appreciation of not only the benefits but also the imperatives of partnerships with India for the continuation in our interest,” he asserted in response to a question.
“My expectation is that it will continue, because it is in India’s interest and it is in US’ interest. Republicans and Democrats alike recognise the importance of continuing (this relationship) and in fact deepening partnership with India. That’s why I am very optimistic of the future,” Lavoy said, as he refrained from giving a direct answer to a question on India-US relationship under a Trump Administration which will be inaugurated on January 20.
Referring to the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington, Lavoy recalled his speech to the Congress in June wherein he said India and the US have overcome hesitations of history and turned barriers into bridges and partnerships.
“I think, that?s much more than rhetoric. I think that is very very genuine. During the past years and actually over the last eight years, we really expanded our co-operation in wide range of areas,” he asserted.
“The partnership now covers every single area of significance to the US and I believe India,” he said, adding Obama actually inherited a very strong relationship with India that is something that his predecessor George Bush prioritized.