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India-US security cooperation will become even more important in the years ahead and the work of the two countries on emerging technologies will take on even more promise, a top American diplomat said on Thursday, reiterating the remarks of President Joe Biden that this is the defining partnership of the 21st century.

“As both President Biden and Prime Minister Modi have said, our impact on each other is important, but what we can do for the world is even more important. Whether it’s addressing food insecurity or battling the next pandemic or connecting millions to the digital economy, there is so much we can do together,” Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Richard Verma, wrote in a blog post in his recent return from India.

Verma is the highest-ranking Indian-American ever in the State Department. He was also the first ever Indian-American to serve as the US Ambassador to India.

“So, where are we headed?” Verma wrote as he described in detail the significant growth in the India-US relationship over the last few decades.

He identified defence, democracy and technology as three key areas of cooperation between the two countries.

“Our security cooperation will become even more important in the years ahead. The threats we face are real, but building our collective capabilities, increasing sharing of information, and improving maritime domain awareness and interoperability will ensure India continues to be a provider of net security across the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” Verma wrote.

“Our work on protecting, preserving, and strengthening democracy will continue to be even more important, with the rise of authoritarian leaders and movements. This includes continuing to strengthen a global rules-based order architecture, ensuring we bridge the divide on income inequality, and battling mis and disinformation. Democracy must continue to deliver for our peoples,” he said.

“Our work on emerging technologies will take on even more promise. New and emerging technologies offer tremendous opportunities for economic growth and development. At the same time, recent disruptive cyber attacks, carried out by criminals and nation states, demonstrate the risk that cyber vulnerabilities can pose to global peace and security,” said the top American diplomat.

“We must work together to tackle data privacy issues, such as identity theft, by exchanging knowledge on data protection issues. Through the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership, the US is working closely with India to build and maintain internet infrastructure and strengthen cybersecurity protections. From semiconductors to critical minerals to space exploration and innovation in clean energy, battling climate change, and so much more, this is about economic and physical security,” Verma wrote.