Acknowledging India as a "rising power", a top US navy official has praised Washington's growing military ties with New Delhi and said their strategic interests were on the same wavelength.
Admiral William Fallon, the US Navy Commander (Pacific Command), said: "India's emergence as a rising power is important to the region and the world."
Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Admiral Fallon called the dialogue between India and Pakistan and the resulting easing of tensions as "very positive signs".
"This year, US Pacific Command (USPACOM) forces have conducted a number of successful events with the Indian military, including complex naval and air force exercises, army and special operations tactical training and peacekeeping, improving the combat effectiveness of US forces," he told the committee.
"Our relationship with the Indian Integrated Defence Staff and the Indian armed services continues to grow. Our programmes are designed to increase our proficiency and inter-operability with Indian forces.
"US and Indian security interests continue to converge as our military cooperation leads to a stronger strategic partnership," he said.
Admiral Fallon also addressed relations with Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan during his testimony.
The US Pacific Command's security assistance programme contributes to maintaining and improving the Royal Nepalese Army's (RNA) capability to prevent a Maoist insurgent victory, he said.
Also, Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and Joint Combined Exercise Training (JCET) support efforts to deny a safe haven for terrorists and insurgents in Nepal, Admiral Fallon said.
Despite the security threats inside Nepal, Nepalese soldiers continue to deploy in support of UN peacekeeping operations, contributing to international stability, he said.
As for Sri Lanka, the US security cooperation programme with Colombo's armed forces helps improve their preparedness, especially amid a stalemate in the negotiations with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
In Bangladesh, he said, the US forces were engaged in reinforcing shared values of democracy and human rights with the Bangladesh armed forces through security cooperation and training.
"PACOM objectives are to assist Bangladesh develop the border control, maritime security, and counter-terror skills necessary to align its security capabilities."
He said Washington was encouraging Bangladesh's continued role in UN peacekeeping operations.
Commander Fallon said the Asia Pacific region was becoming the global community's "centre of gravity", magnifying the impact of any changes.
"Risk of crisis on the Korean peninsula, miscalculation over the Taiwan Strait or in Kashmir and the threat from global terrorism provide a cautionary backdrop to positive developments in the region," he contended.
All this require "strong, constructive relationships" with regional neighbours, he said.