Washington, June 13 (IBNS) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday said America is appreciative of India's stand on the issue of Iran's nuclear programme by reducing oil purchase from Iran despite its growing energy needs.
Hillary said here at the inauguration of the Third Annual U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue that "on the critical security challenge of Iranís nuclear programme, we can see habits of cooperation paying off."
"The United States appreciates that India has made it clear it understands the importance of denying Iran a nuclear weapon and supports the efforts to ensure Iranís compliance with international obligations," she said in the presence of Indian external affairs minister S M Krishna.
"And India has taken steps to diversify its sources of imported crude by reducing purchases of Iranian oil Ė a fact that I officially reported to our Congress. The United States recognizes Indiaís growing energy needs, and weíre working together to ensure not only stable oil markets but additional areas of cooperation to help India attain greater energy security," she said.
S M Krishna said the India-USA relationship and dialogues are satisfying and on right track with unprecedented intensity in the past years but yet the two nations should not be complacent.
"We have reasons to be satisfied but not complacent. So we hope, in the course of today, we will chart the course ahead both for the immediate future and the long term," said Krishna as he and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began the dialogue.
"Even by the high standards of India-U.S. relationship, we have had an unprecedented intensity of engagement over the past years. Yet the Strategic Dialogue is a unique opportunity to bring together all the threads of our cooperation that constitute the extraordinarily rich tapestry of our relationship," said Krishna.
He said the two sides have a shared vision that "our global strategic partnership could be one of the most important defining relationships of the 21st Century."
"Sometimes there are questions and doubts about the relationship. They are inevitable in something so unique and new. But I believe that having settled the question of whether India and the U.S. can or should work towards a close relationship, the question we ask now are how to harness the full potential of that relationship," he said.
"If we go by the investments that the two governments are making and the energy and enterprise of our people, we are, Madam Secretary, on the right track," he said.
Hillary said the bilateral trade and investment between India and USA may exceed $100 billion this year, up tenfold since 1995 and up more than 40 percent since 2009 "when we launched the Strategic Dialogue."
"Thereís a lot of room, however, for further growth, and we need to keep up the momentum. We look forward to working to advance negotiations on the Bilateral Investment Treaty, to further reduce barriers to trade and investment in areas like multi-brand retail, and to create hospitable environments for each of our companies to do business in the otherís country," she said.