A SENIOR official from the Obama-era administration in the US has said that the partnership between India and the US in defence and security sectors will continue under the US President-elect Joe Biden.
Alyssa Ayres, senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the council on foreign relations (CFR) has said that relationship in these key areas has progressed during Donald Trump’s tenure and it will continue under Biden.
“Based on the priorities articulated already by the president-elect Biden, I would anticipate that the Biden-Harris administration will continue to place a high priority on the defence and security relationship with India, the major area that has advanced during the Trump administration,” Ayres, author of ‘Our Time Has Come: How India is Making Its Place in the World,’ told PTI.
She had served as deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia from 2010 to 2013.
According to her, Biden was an early supporter of the US-India relationship.
“Biden viewed the US and India as the two closest nations in the world, 15 years ago,” Ayres said.
“Biden’s global priorities on fighting the coronavirus pandemic and tackling climate change will necessitate close cooperation with India.”
She said: “I’ve seen a lot of attention in the Indian media to the question of whether president-elect Biden will criticise India on questions of democracy and human rights. He has stated that he has concerns, and given his decades of diplomatic experience would be likely to convey his views privately. I’ve seen little on the question of climate change and clean energy.
“While the US experiences fire and hurricanes, India battles floods, drought, and extreme weather events, and we cannot solve this without dramatically scaling up clean energy. India has emerged as a global leader in solar power and it will be in all of our collective interest to renew cooperation on this area which the Trump administration set aside.”
Before serving in the Obama administration, she was founding director of the India and South Asia practice at Washington-based advisory firm McLarty Associates.
Ayres served as special assistant to the undersecretary of state for political affairs as a CFR international affairs fellow.
She also worked in the non-profit sector at the University of Pennsylvania’s center for advanced study of India and at the Asia society in New York.