Principal US Deputy Assistant Secretary Alice Wells said that Washington wants to work together with New Delhi and identify projects whether they be in Sri Lanka or Nepal.
“One of the great new elements of our relationship with India is that we are working in third countries,” she said as she cited the example of the assistance and developmental level work with India in Africa on health-related issues and peacekeeping training. She said India and the US worked together in programmes that involved bringing Afghans to India for cost-effective training. “India really is an all-weather partner as we look ahead to how to ensure that the Indo-Pacific remains free and open.”
Wells expressed these views during a press conference in the US, First Post reported.
During the press briefing, Wells previewed her upcoming travel to the Indian Ocean Conference and how it supports the Trump administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy.
The annual conference, hosted by the India Foundation along with its partners from Singapore, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, will focus on the theme of ‘Building Regional Architectures’.
The US Deputy Assistant Secretary said that Washington aimed to ensure that South Asia’s future is free, operates in a rule-based system and is open.
She also said, “More than $100 million of funding will go to South Asia, which includes $39 million for Bangladesh, $14 million for Sri Lanka and $17 million for Nepal.”
“It will focus on maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, peacekeeping capabilities and counter transnational crime, which is the key for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” she also added. (Colombo Gazette)