Clinton Urges India to Boost Economic Activity

Posted July 20th, 2011 at 11:35 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged India to use its economic power to boost commerce across Central Asia, including Afghanistan and India's long-time adversary Pakistan.

In a speech in Chennai, India, Wednesday, Clinton said India, which has been working to broaden economic and political ties in East Asia, also has the potential to positively shape the future of the Asia-Pacific region.

She added that the United States and India have common interests in Asia, including protecting sea lanes and promoting democracy and human rights.

The secretary of state on Wednesday wrapped up a two-day visit to India as part of the ongoing U.S.-India strategic dialogue.

During her speech in Chennai, Clinton again addressed the issue of stability in Afghanistan, saying the United States and NATO do not intend to allow security in the war-torn country to lapse as they withdraw troops.

Clinton said that achieving and maintaining political reconciliation and stability in Afghanistan will require the support of both India and Pakistan.

The secretary of state called for greater economic cooperation among South Asian nations. She urged them to reduce barriers and increase trade in order to open up new sources of raw material, energy, and agricultural products.

Clinton will continue her multi-nation diplomatic tour with stops this week in Indonesia and Hong Kong.

On Tuesday, Clinton and her Indian counterpart, S.M. Krishna, urged Pakistan to do more to eliminate “terrorist sanctuaries” on its territory, both for the sake of its own interests and those of the region.