During a delegation-level meeting with Defence Minister A K Antony, his US counterpart Leon Panetta also promised to initiate measures to provide access to dual use technology to India, which has for long been contending that American norms were leading to denial of export of such sophisticated items.
"Antony emphasized the need to strengthen multilateral security architecture in the Asia-Pacific and to move at a pace comfortable to all countries concerned," Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said about the meeting.
The stand has been taken by India in the light of US plans to shift majority of its aircraft carrier fleet to the Asia-Pacific and its announcement that New Delhi was key to its plans of rebalancing power in the region.
Commenting on New Delhi's role in its strategy, Panetta while addressing a gathering at the IDSA, said, "Defence cooperation with India is a lynchpin in this strategy. India is one of the largest and most dynamic countries in the region and the world, with one of the most capable militaries."
On the issues related to dispute over the South China Sea involving countries in Asia Pacific, Antony told Panetta that India favoured unhindered freedom of navigation in international waters for all.
"India supports unhindered freedom of navigation in international waters for all," he said.
Beijing claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea area and has disputes with countries such as Philippines and Vietnam over the issue.
Don't see military role for India in Afghanistan: Panetta
With international troops set to withdraw from Afghanistan, the US today asked India to step up efforts to train security forces of the war-torn country but said it did not see a military role for New Delhi beyond that.
"What I asked the leaders here is that to continue to provide the training that they are providing now," US Secretary Leon Panetta said at an interaction at the Institute of Defence Studies Analyses (IDSA) here.
Panetta was referring to his discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A K Antony and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.
"I urged that they continue to do that, if possible expand their training in order to prove the efficiency of the Afghan army. There was nothing said about doing anything in terms of additional military efforts in Afghanistan itself," he said about his talks with the top Indian leadership.
Panetta replied in the negative when asked whether the US had any Plan B for Afghanistan from where it has announced withdrawal of combat troops by 2014.
"We dont have a Plan-B. We dont need to have a Plan-B," he said.
"We will continue beyond 2014, we will continue working on counter-terrorism, we will continue to provide training and assistance to their forces ... that is the commitment that President (Barack Obama) has made," he said.
He said the US goal in Afghanistan was to complete the mission of having an Afghanistan that is secure and can govern itself so that it never becomes a safe haven for terrorism.