US-India Global Review

than 170 million Muslims – the third-largest Muslim population in the world. Yet we do not encounter signifi- cant number of Indian Muslims among foreign fighters in the ranks of ISIS or other terrorist groups, which speaks to the strength of Indian society. The journey of a democracy is never easy, but the power of India’s democratic exam- ple is one that I know will continue to strengthen and inspire others around the world. In other areas, we are long overdue for greater cooperation. The more we expand cooperation on issues like maritime domain awareness, cybersecurity, and humanitarian assis- tance and disaster relief, the more the nations in the Indo-Pacific will benefit. We also must recognize that many Indo-Pacific nations have limited alterna- tives when it comes to infra- structure investment pro- grams and financing schemes, which often fail to promote jobs or prosperity for the people they claim to help. It’s time to expand transparent, high-standard regional lending mecha- nisms – tools that will actu- ally help nations instead of saddle them with mounting debt. India and the United States must lead the way in growing these multilateral efforts. We must do a better job leveraging our collective expertise to meet common challenges, while seeking even more avenues of cooperation to tackle those that are to come. There is a need and we must meet the demand. The increasing conver- gence of U.S. and Indian interests and values offers the Indo-Pacific the best opportunity to defend the rules-based global system that has benefited so much of humanity over the past several decades. But it also comes with a responsibility – for both of our countries to “do the needful” in support of our united vision of a free, open, and thriving Indo-Pacific. The United States wel- comes the growing power and influence of the Indian people in this region and throughout the world. We are eager to grow our rela- tionship even as India grows as a world leader and power. The strength of the Indo- Pacific has always been the interaction among many peoples, governments, economies, and cultures. The United States is com- mitted to working with any nation in South Asia or the broader region that shares our vision of an Indo-Pacific where sovereignty is upheld and a rules-based system is respected. It is time we act on our vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, supported and protected by two strong pil- lars of democracy – the United States and India. Thank you for your kind attention. 14 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW JANUARY-MARCH 2018 Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State | Center for Strategic & International Studies Washington, DC October 18, 2017