India has emerged as a strategic partner for US: Mullen


India has emerged as an important strategic partner for the US and the Obama Administration seeks to ''mature'' this partnership to address common security challenges, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said.

"India has emerged as an increasingly important strategic partner," Mullen said in his testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defence.

"We seek to mature this partnership and address common security challenges globally as well as within the region," he said, echoing Obama Administration, which has been strongly arguing the case for deepening its strategic ties with India.

In his testimony, Mullen said Afghanistan and Pakistan are the central fronts in the fight against al-Qaeda and militant global extremism. But different strategy is being adopted for the two countries, he said.

"Our aim in Afghanistan is to check the momentum of the insurgency, train additional forces, and ensure security for the Afghan national elections in August, while in Pakistan we will work with the Pakistani military to further develop their counterinsurgency skills and build stronger relationships with Pakistani leaders at all levels," he said.

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