India-US have strong fundamentals of convergence: Clinton

Washington: Noting that the relationship between India and the US has never been stronger, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today said the "shared values, economic systems and diplomatic imperatives" were playing key role in bringing the two largest democracies of the world together.

"As you can see from this week`s strategic dialogue our ties has never been stronger. It is not just that we are the world`s oldest and largest democracy it is that the strategic fundamentals of our relationship — the shared values, economic systems, our diplomatic imperatives ? are drawing our interests into closer convergence into 21st century," Clinton said.

"That means that we are working together like never before to build open free transparent and fair global economic system, to promote peace and prosperity in South Asia and the Asia pacific and to co-ordinate international responses to violent extremism and so much else," Clinton said in her address to the opening session of the India-US Higher Education Dialogue.

"And that`s the context of today`s discussion and tomorrow`s strategic dialogue," said Clinton in her remarks to the dialogue which she co-chaired with Human Resources and Development Minister Kapil Sibal. Tomorrow, Clinton would co-chair the third India-US Strategic Dialogue with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna. "We believe both the United States and India that extending the benefits of higher education to as many people as possible is not only the right thing to do but it is something to help better equip our people compete in today`s global economy," Clinton said.

In his remarks, Sibal said the two countries have "together embarked" on a journey to eliminate barriers of prejudice by creating opportunities for "our children" to share knowledge. "This will help them realize that they have common interests and aspirations and that collaborative learning is both enriching and empowering. You (Clinton) rightly termed our relationship as a partnership of democracies destined to lead the 21st century. Nothing will be more invigorating for this partnership than bringing together our knowledge institutions," Sibal said.