Facebook Chat with Assistant Secretary Robert O. Blake, Jr.
On Monday, June 11, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asia Robert O. Blake, Jr. took questions from a global, live audience via Facebook. The Facebook chat was held in advance of the 2012 U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, which will be held in Washington on June 12-13.
- Assistant Secretary Blake took your questions on several aspects of U.S.-India relations, including economic issues,
- military issues,
- When Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was just in New Delhi, he told reporters that press reports saying we are cutting Javelin sales were absolutely untrue. We are working very closely with India not only on that sale, but also on other sales as well to try to support our companies and expand defense cooperation. Whenever we discuss arm sales with India, we try to be strategic about what India needs and what we can sell. We want to reduce barriers and look for opportunities to expand cooperation. We think that approach benefits both India and the United States.
- educational issues,
- Thank you for that important question, Ravneek. We want to do everything we can to promote greater educational ties in both directions between the United States and India. We welcome the 104,000 Indian students already studying here and want to encourage many more. For those looking for scholarships and other opportunities to help find lower cost educational opportunities in the United States, I encourage them to visit the website of the U.S. Educational Foundation in India: usief.org.in/. They have a wealth of information and are ready to answer your questions!
- Every Nation's foreign policy revolves around her people's interests. But when the whole human race is facing challenge of survival, countries like USA and India need to come closer. Unfortunately, in India, it is generally felt that USA always betrayed us with respect to its policy with Pakistan. USA suffers from diplomatic myopia. USA is closer to China than India, otherwise it has long before s...upported the Indian claim for permanent seat in UN security council. Unfortunately USA always frames its policies on the basis of it business/economic interests. It always equipped Pakistan with arms to be used against India and thus created problems for this country right from its birth as an independent nation. We could not develop because US policies always were against us. We virtually do not believe on US credibility. We always watch US as a strange friend, who claims to know India and is ready to admire us but stabs in back when we are in the need of help. Why to believe USA? You will always be with Pakistan or China then what kind of 'strategic Dialogue' are going to be held? USA is simply trying to create an environment of fear around us, so that India may be webbed in as second-rate partner in its design for international hegemony. How do you respond Mr. Secretary?See More
- Thank you, B.P. We want to see India succeed. This week's Strategic Dialogue between the United States and India will focus on strategic issues such as our growing cooperation in Afghanistan, as well as how we can increase economic opportunities and the security of our people. Between our two countries, we have more than a billion and a half citizens. That means we are seizing remarkable opportunities for exchanging goods, ideas, and innovations. Trade already has quadrupled in the last eight years. We both share a commitment to stimulate economic growth and to work toward regional integration and prosperity, which has already greatly increased in the last decade. A meeting of the Strategic Dialogue is also an opportunity to ask "what are we not doing yet? What is working, and what more we can do?" We have already agreed that our cooperation is essential; and now we are working to broaden and deepen it.
- Assistant Secretary Blake also addressed questions on Pakistan.
- We received some general questions on Pakistan that we would like to answer. The United States is encouraged by the progress that India and Pakistan have made in their bilateral dialogue. We particularly welcome the important progress the two countries are making to reduce trade barriers and increase economic opportunities for their two peoples. Pakistan has pledged to normalize trade with India b...y the end of this year. The two countries are also very important pillars in efforts to encourage greater regional integration between South and Central Asia. One good example of progress is the recent agreement by India and Pakistan to sign Gas Sales Purchase Agreements with the government of Turkmenistan to advance the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. This project will not only help to meet India and Pakistan's fast growing energy needs, but will also provide important transit revenues for Afghanistan and Pakistan.See More
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