US sees strong role for India on space security issues

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    Feb 16, 2009
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    US sees strong role for India on space security issues - The Times of India

    WASHINGTON: There is greater room for Indo-US cooperation on space security issues, as India, which is a pioneer in many space related issues, has much to give to the international community, a top American official has said.

    "We see a strong role for greater US-India cooperation on space security issues, in the Asia-Pacific and internationally," said Frank A Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, at the National Space Symposium.

    US President Barack Obama had said in 2010 that the relationship between India and America will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century, Rose recalled.

    "While India has long focused on using space for the benefit of its people, as an established spacefaring nation with close ties to other regional space actors and emerging spacefaring nations, we see a strong role for Indian leadership in regional and multilateral space fora, where India has much to give, and also to gain," he said.

    "It is clear that there are significant areas of strategic convergence between India and the United States on space issues. This is why, in 2011, we launched the first US-India space security discussions as part of an effort to ensure that our two countries exchange views on this increasingly important domain," the official said.

    He said the US is not only looking to strengthen its current alliances and partnerships, but to forge deeper ties with emerging spacefaring nations.

    "That is why I've spent a great deal of time in Asia in the past two years, discussing space security issues with my counterparts in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Our increasing engagement with ASEAN members is part of a broader effort by the United States to deepen our commitment to the region and to work with all nations to ensure a sustainable and secure space environment," he said.

    Another pillar of US approach to the rebalance is building a constructive relationship with China, he said.

    "There are few diplomatic, economic, or security challenges in the world that can be addressed without China at the table, including the issues confronting the space environment. To that end, we are also trying to engage China on space security bilaterally and multilaterally," Rose said.

    "Both the United States and China have an interest in maintaining the long-term sustainability of the space environment, especially limiting the creation of long-lived space debris," he said.

    "To this end, we are working to establish a direct line of communication between US and Chinese officials in order to provide the Chinese with timely conjunction notifications. Additionally, it is important that we discuss space security issues bilaterally given our common interests in preventing misperceptions, mistrust, and miscalculations," Rose said.

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