"As India's strategic plus partner, we support India's aspiration to become a leading power," said Verma in a talk on "Strategic Plus: Taking US-Indian Relations to a New Level" at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
"We also welcome India's constructive leadership on global challenges," said Verma, who is on his first visit to Washington since becoming US ambassador to India.
Discussing what must be done to sustain the momentum that is transforming and deepening the two countries' ties, he said: "It is fair to say that we've got a big agenda and big goals for this partnership." "We're focused on finding creative, realistic ways to move them all forward," Verma said.
"Our leaders recognise that a robust US-India partnership can be a force for greater peace, prosperity, and security in the world," he said. "But we won't always agree," said Verma citing India's support this week for the attempt to strip benefits from UN staff in same-sex relationships as an example. In Delhi, "there is still a broader strategic and economic debate going on about whether India should focus globally or whether it should focus inward and limit its foreign policy to the region", Verma said.
"So as we move forward, we will also need to manage our expectations. We have to be cognizant of the speed and scope of our initiatives; we have to prioritise. "When we disagree, we will do so with respect and in a spirit of partnership and an appreciation for the immense value and promise for our relationship.
"If we continue to move forward on such terms, there will be few limits to how far we can advance, and how much we can achieve, in the years and decades to come," Verma said.