Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The three nations to strengthen ties with the largest democracy

FE Home - World for stronger bond with ‘powerful’ : Sunday , September 09, 2007
Melbourne, Sep 8 The leaders of the US, Australia and Japan on Saturday discussed ways to engage India more closely as they held a landmark three-way security talks that have drawn criticism from China. US President George W Bush, Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe focussed on how to promote engagement with India when they met over breakfast on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Sydney. Besides India, the three leaders discussed China’s growing regional influence and the North Korean nuclear issue at the meeting, which was also attended by US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer.
Downer described India as an increasingly important world power and said the three nations had discussed ways to strengthen ties with the largest democracy. “There was a lot of discussion about India, a lot of optimism about India, the importance of strengthening our relations with India,” he told reporters, adding “there’s a recognition now that India is a coming great power.”
“It’s world’s largest democracy, its economy is growing at a rapid rate ... and it’s a country that we’re all feeling increasingly comfortable working with.”
“It was an opportunity to talk about a range of different issues but certainly to focus on India and the importance of that country to us in the Asia-Pacific region and broader geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific region,” Downer said.
He, however, mentioned that expanding the three-way strategic dialogue to include India was not on the table for the moment. “Nothing like that is going to happen any time soon, we are looking more in a general sense at progressing the relationship,” he said. Downer said leaders at the Apec summit were unlikely to expand their club to take in India or any other country by lifting a leadership moratorium. “One of the reasons for that is I think there are 11 applicants for Apec membership, India is one ... it’s quite a long list and I think there is a consensus that if you were to bring one in, you’d have to bring others to balance it up,” Downer said. —PTI

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