- India's security is as much affected by terrorist safe havens in Pakistan as Afghanistan's is, the US state department said
- In addition, in general, India 'plays an outsized role' in global affairs, the state department spokesman said
India plays an "outsized role" in international affairs and it is a "core relationship" the US maintains, said a US state department spokesman today.
"It's (India's) playing an outsized role in global issues. And so I think we're going to continue to work hard to strengthen that relationship going forward, no matter who's president," said Mark Toner, a spokesman of the US state department, at a daily press briefing.
He was responding to a question about where India-US relations are headed once US President-elect Donald Trump assumes office on January 20.
"I think in terms of where that relationship goes, the sky's the limit, both economically, security, what have you...And I think the new administration was clearly recognizing - you've even seen some comments from the president-elect - of the importance that India plays not just in the region but in the global mix... And so I think we're going to continue to work hard to strengthen that relationship going forward, no matter who's president," Toner explained.
He also talked about how the India-US relationship has flourished under outgoing US President Barack Obama's tenure.
"I think that U.S.-India relations have been strengthened throughout these past eight years of the Obama Administration. It's obviously a key - a core relationship for the United States," Toner said.
The US state department spokesman also responded to a question about alleged "terrorist safe havens" in Pakistan, which the Afghanistan government says are the cause of continued terror strikes on it.
"I think we've been very frank and very open about publicly saying to - to Pakistan that it needs to not provide any safe haven to groups that will or are intent on carrying out attacks on Afghanistan. We've seen some progress, we've seen them take some steps to address these safe havens, but clearly the problem persists..." Toner said.
Indeed, he added that the security of Afghanistan, Pakistan as well as indeed India are "all interconnected" and that "a partnership on counterterrorism operations" should be the way forward.