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In Context: Obama and India’s Singh Meet to Get Drifting Relationship on Track

Friday, Sept. 27, 2013

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is meeting U.S. President Barack Obama today at the White House, where the two leaders are expected to reach deals on defense cooperation and trade in nuclear technology. That reflects the interest on both sides to move past the “differences and divisions have taken center stage in recent months,” as Richard Fontaine explained in World Politics Review last month:

Despite drift in some key areas of the relationship, the underlying strategic rationale for it remains. Washington is rebalancing its foreign policy to Asia, attempting to allot that region greater diplomatic attention, military resources and commercial agreements than it has received in the past. . . . Washington should seek to ensure that the major democratic players across the region are strong and enjoy close ties with the United States.

India will have a key role to play in this future. Neither India nor the United States will wish to contain China, with which they have mutually dependent economic ties, but both will welcome strong partners to help shape and maintain the global rules to which China and all other nations will be subject. ...

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