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'Indo-U.S. Relations' series to begin April 21

April 21, May 7 and May 16, 2008, 4 p.m. 1 Robertson Hall
A new series titled "Indo-U.S. Relations: An Emerging Strategic Partnership" will begin Monday, April 21, with an address by Kanwal Sibal, India's former ambassador to Russia and France, and former foreign secretary of the government of India.

Sibal will present "India, China and Tibet" at 4 p.m. in 1 Robertson Hall, offering his perspective on how to deal with the current situations in Tibet, Burma and Pakistan.

India and the United States have long been described as "natural allies." In addition to their common commitment to democracy, their economic and strategic concerns have combined to bring them much closer over the past decade and half. The three-part series will examine various aspects of the evolving strategic relationship between the two countries and explore to what extent their interests and policies are likely to converge, where they differ and how those differences might be resolved.

Aaron Friedberg, professor of politics and international affairs, who is organizing the series with Shivaji Sondhi, professor of physics, said, "Along with China, India is Asia's other rising power. It is a nation whose economic weight, military power and diplomatic influence are all rapidly increasing. Like the United States, India is also a multi-ethnic liberal democracy and, in the past decade, the two countries have begun to cooperate much more closely on a wide range of issues. Despite these facts, India and the Indo-U.S. relationship have generally received far less attention in the United States than China. This seminar is the first in what Professor Sondhi and I hope will be a series of exchanges on what could well turn out to be the most important and fruitful bilateral relationship of the 21st century."

The other two lectures will be:

• "Myanmar -- Isolation by Choice or Circumstance? China and India Make Their Moves" by Vikram Sood, vice president of the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, and the former head of research and analysis at the foundation, on Wednesday, May 7.

• "The Talibanisation of Pakistan" by M.J. Akbar, author of "The Shades of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict Between Islam and Christianity," on Friday, May 16.

All will be held at 4 p.m. in 1 Robertson Hall.

The series is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Research Program in International Security.

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