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“Ours is a partnership that has come a long way in a relatively short time and that still has enormous potential,” Shivshankar Menon said last week at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

“It has not always been easy, but, to my mind, now is the time for both our countries to be ambitious about the relationship.”

Mr. Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have met six times over the past 18 months, Mr. Menon noted.

Last year, some foreign policy experts worried that Mr. Obama was placing more emphasis on relations with China, while minimizing ties with India. Those concerns deepened when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton bypassed India on an Asian visit in February 2009. She visited India five months later and praised the nation as a “key partner” of the United States.

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