New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) Praising India’s role as the largest contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, especially in Africa, the US on Monday said the designation of New Delhi as Washington’s major defence partner further underscores the importance of the two nations as net security providers in the global arena.

US Charge d’Affaires MaryKay Carlson, speaking at a welcome reception to mark US-India Peacekeeping Cooperation in Africa, said both the US and India share an abiding commitment to their partnerships with African nations, and “we are proud to be working together to build security capacity on the continent of Africa”, according to a US Embassy press release.

On India’s role in peacekeeping in Africa, she said: “Over the past 50 years, no country has contributed more to UN peacekeeping. Over 180,000 Indian troops have served in 48 of the UN’s 69 peacekeeping missions – a higher proportion than any other country – with many of these missions having been in sub-Saharan Africa.”

On the “transformation of the US-India bilateral relationship into a global partnership”, Carlson said: “From countering terrorism and protecting the global commons to exploring space and expanding trade, the US and India are working together not only for the benefit of our two nations’ citizens but also to improve lives across the globe.”

“The designation this year of India as a Major Defense Partner of the United States further underscores the importance of our two nations as net security providers in the global arena,” she said, adding that the US-India Peacekeeping Cooperation in Africa is “a great example of what we are doing together”.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Washington visit, she said: “Three weeks ago, President Trump and Prime Minister Modi reaffirmed in Washington that our ‘close partnership’ is ‘central to peace and stability’. The bold vision articulated by the two leaders – ‘Prosperity through Partnership’ – serves as the guiding principle for every aspect of our cooperation.

“Today we commemorate another chapter in US-Indian cooperation, by working together with our African partners to build and enhance UN peacekeeping capacity,” she said, adding that the goal of this training programme, now in its second year, is to build capacity at a time when the need for well-trained peacekeepers is more critical than ever, according to the release.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.