NATO seeks stronger relationship with India

"Nato is engaging with the wider world and it’s in India’s interest to be an integrated part of that.”

From Pallavi Aiyar, the Business Standard:  Days after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) concluded a major summit in Lisbon intended to update its mission and methods to keep up with changing times, Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called for stepped-up contacts with India.

The secretary general identified three main arguments for a “stronger relationship” with India. To begin with, he reasoned that as a fast emerging economy, India had a stake in ensuring free access to trade routes, sea lanes and communications networks and consequently shared in Nato’s global security interests. Rasmussen pointed to counter piracy and cyber security as concrete examples, where the concerns of both entities overlapped in this context.

He added that both India and Nato shared the same foundational values of democracy. Finally, he pointed to the “crucial role” played by India in the Afghanistan region, saying that he believed India could “contribute to the development of Afghanistan and help bring stability in the region. …”

He said Nato’s relationship with Pakistan “will not be developed at the expense of India,” but asked, “how can we explain this to India without a dialogue?”

Rasmussen revealed that while he had met with the Indian ambassador to Belgium and the European Union, on “few occasions”, his attempts at initiating deeper contacts with India had not met with much success as yet.  (photo: Getty)

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