19 July, 2005

mr. singh goes to washington

The Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Washington D.C today to a red-carpet welcome from President Bush. This is official visit is being used to symbolize the improving relations between the two countries.

The New York Times reports:

Underscoring a rapidly improving relationship that he said had "never been stronger," President Bush gave a warm welcome today to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, as the two leaders pledged closer cooperation in trade and technology.

After decades of acrimonious relations between the two countries - tensions were highest during the Cold War, when India was friendly with the Soviet Union - the administration sees this improving relationship as a major foreign policy success, particularly as it parallels the rise in
the power and influence of China.

However, Mr. Bush and Mr. Singh failed to settle all their differences, notably over India’s request for nuclear energy materials and its bid for permanent membership on the United Nations Security  Council.

Indo-U.S ties have been improving since Clinton’s (superstar in India) visit to India in 1999 and lifting of the sanctions. The fact that the two countries have signed a military pact and have been conducting joint exercises is a stark contrast to the mistrust of the past decades. In the recent years, the relationship has moved beyond dealing with Pakistan and Kashmir, rising to a sort of more mature level. Whether it is to prop up India against China, or the shared democratic values or even the shared threat of terrorism. Its only logical for these two nations to be natural allies. However,the recent refusal by U.S to back India for the security council has irked the Indians. As they believe they have a strong case.
Also, the increasing energy ties between India and Iran has (not surprisingly) been frowned upon by Washington. These issues and some others will take their toll on the relationship. However, it seems there won’t be any more name calling behind each others backs, at least not on this level.

by @ 5:02 am. Filed under India, Asia, Current Affairs, South Asia

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