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Indo-US partnership at pinnacle of importance

Washington: The relationship between India and the United States has never been more important than it is today, a powerful American lawmaker has said.

"The US-India alliance has never been more important than it is right now," Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said after her meeting with the visiting Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai.

The Congress official said the Indo-US relation was vital in maintaining peace in Asia-Pacific region. Reuters

"The partnership between our two nations is critical in combating extremists, protecting our fragile gains in Afghanistan, ensuring peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region, and building an agenda for shared prosperity," she said.

Ros-Lehtinen, who led a bipartisan group of US lawmakers in the meeting, is the chairwoman of the powerful House Committee of Foreign Affairs and in this capacity plays a key role in shaping America's foreign policy.

Among the issues discussed were progress in the US-India partnership and Strategic Dialogue, developments in the Middle East and South Asia, the challenge of a rising China, and prospects for meaningful change in Burma.

The US official also raised the Iran issue, underlining the need for responsible nations to work together to further isolate and pressure the dangerous extremists in Tehran.

PTI