Indo-U.S. ties frozen in Cold War era: Jaishankar

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The Foreign Secretary was addressing a seminar at the Vivekananda International Foundation.

A “Cold War political order” still persists in India-U.S. relations in spite of the relationship moving into a “transition mode” after the first 50 years of “limited convergence,” Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said on Monday.
“There is a conceptual problem that we still have to overcome and it is a fact that the post-Second World War political order is still very much alive,” he said at a seminar at the Vivekananda International Foundation.
“Indo-Pacific region” was one of the common areas to act upon, Mr. Jaishankar said. He referred to the “Joint Strategic vision” document signed during the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to India which, he said, “seeks to capture the shared convergences both countries had in the Asia pacific region.”
These comments are in line with India’s “Act East policy” and overlap with the U.S.’s “Rebalance to Asia” with India as its “lynchpin.” He called the nuclear issue an “obstacle” in the relationship. The understanding reached during Mr. Obama’s visit to India had actually freed up “possibilities for

cooperation in defence and space.”

Two months after the understanding reached on administrative arrangements for nuclear cooperation and renewal of defence cooperation agreement, they were yet to be signed.
Mr. Jaishankar also sounded caution on the expectations from the Indo-U.S. relationship, particularly after the visit of President Obama. “If we are overtly anchored to the past, then we are not going to see the opportunities… At the same time, if we overstep the progress and raise expectations, then I think we will fall short in many respects…”
‘Nuclear issue, an obstacle’
The difference in perception between the India and the United States on the neighbourhood, trade and climate change was highlighted by Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on Monday.
Speaking at a seminar at the Vivekananda International Foundation, he called the nuclear issue an “obstacle” in the relationship. The understanding reached during U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to India had actually freed up “possibilities for cooperation in defence and space.”
Symbolism apart, two months after the understanding reached on administrative arrangements for nuclear cooperation and renewal of defence cooperation agreement, they were yet to be signed.
Mr. Jaishankar also sounded caution on the expectations from the Indo-U.S. relationship, particularly after the visit of Mr. Obama. “If we are overtly anchored to the past, then we are not going to see the opportunities… At the same time, if we overstep the progress and raise expectations, then I think we will fall short in many respects and it creates its own backlash.”
Speaking later in the day, U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma termed the partnership “strategic plus,” and highlighted regional, space and defence cooperation.Endorsing India’s “Neighbours First” policy, Mr. Verma offered U.S. role in promoting regional economic integration and bolstering good governance. “We recognise India as a key partner in Afghanistan’s future,” he said.Mr. Verma said India’s Act East policy and the U.S. rebalance to Asia were now part of a shared vision which defines the “Strategic Plus” partnership, similar to the comments by Mr. Jaishankar.
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