India and the US have a common interest in promoting security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and their ability to work together has a positive impact in effectively addressing regional and global challenges, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday. Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava made the assertion in response to questions over a declassified document of the outgoing Trump administration which said that a strong India, in cooperation with like-minded countries, would act as a “counterbalance” to China in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.

“A question on the US government report should be asked to the US government spokesperson. However, I will state that India and the US share a comprehensive strategic global partnership and given our substantial bilateral agenda, our growing economic engagement and a convergence on strategic and security interests, both countries have a common interest in promoting security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” Srivastava said. “Our ability to work together has a positive impact in effectively addressing regional and global challenges,” he said at an online briefing.

Running into 10 pages, the document was recently declassified in part by US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and now has been posted on the website of the White House. India maintains the capacity to counter border provocations by China, said the US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific. “A strong India, in cooperation with like-minded countries, would act as a counterbalance to China,” the document said.

To a separate question on India and Bangladesh commemorating 50 years of diplomatic ties, Srivastava said a tri-services contingent from Bangladesh is visiting India at the invitation of the government to participate in the Republic Day parade. “This is a testimony to our ties which are forged in shared sacrifice. This year 2021 will be historic in our bilateral relationship as we are also commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Liberation War,” he said. “You would recall that at the virtual summit of the two prime ministers it was agreed that we would organize several activities to commemorate both events in India and Bangladesh and in third countries,” Srivastava said.

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