Washington (Agencies): The US welcomes India's larger involvement in East Asia and is committed to working with New Delhi as it increases relations with US allies in Southeast Asia and Japan, a senior US official has said.

"Ultimately, we think that India's role in the Asian-Pacific region stands to be one of the most important new developments over the course of the next decade," said Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Kurt Campbell.

In November 2009, India had expressed deep concern over a joint statement issued after President Barack Obama's China visit acknowledging Beijing's role in South Asia. Among other things, it "welcomed all efforts conducive to peace, stability and development in South Asia".

It also backed "the improvement and growth of relations between India and Pakistan" and expressed eagerness "to strengthen communication, dialogue and cooperation on issues related to South Asia and work together to promote peace, stability and development in that region".

However, after Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington last month, the joint statement made no reference to South Asia apparently in reaction to New Delhi's sensitivities.

Downplaying the absence of a reference to Beijing's role in South Asia in the US-China joint statement, Washington said it did not essentially reflect a change in policy.