US needs partners who speak well of it; must work with India: Jaishankar
Jaishankar said India is a “very important” partner of the US in speeding up investments in a certain set of domains and scaling it up at the global level
There is a “very compelling need” for India and the US to work together, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said in New York, asserting that it’d be useful for Washington to have partners who think well of America and speak well of it.
Jaishankar’s remarks came in response to a question during a conversation at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Tuesday (September 26) after addressing the UN General Assembly session.
He is scheduled to travel to Washington on Wednesday (September 27) for bilateral meetings with US interlocutors. His schedule includes discussions with his counterpart Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, senior members of the US Administration, US business leaders, and think-tanks.
“Must focus on technology”
“I do think today, the India-US relationship has to focus very, very strongly on technology. And I say that, because, in many ways, the balance of power in the world has always been a function of the balance of technology, but it is even more intense today. And the impact of technology on our everyday lives is very sweeping,” he said.
Noting that when “we each look out at the world and assess who are the technology partners, where can we bring value and where can we get value”, he said the intention is for India and the US to gravitate towards each other.
Jaishankar said India is a “very important” partner of the US when it comes to accelerating investments in a certain set of domains and scaling this up at the global level.
“...You will have like this, other conversations, it could be on critical minerals, it could be on maritime security, but the fact is...the United States today, needs partners in order to secure its interest...,” he said.
“US an optimal choice”
Underlining that there are a number of partners for both the US and India, Jaishankar said, “If I have to make choices, to me, the US is really an optimal choice. So, there is today a very compelling need for India and the US to work together.”
“I think most of all, that is focused on technology. A big part of it, I would say, will also be a spillover into defence and security. A third part of it would actually be politics,” he added.
Talking about the North-South divide, he said the Global South is very distrustful of the Global North or the developed countries today. “So, it’s useful for the US to have partners who frankly think well of the US and speak well of the US often behind your back,” he added.
The US is the largest trading partner of India. In 2022-23, the bilateral goods trade increased to $128.8 billion as against $119.5 billion in 2021-22.
(With agency inputs)