India, US elevate strategic partnership with Declaration of Friendship

New Delhi: "Chalein saath saath; forward together we go", said India and the US Sunday as they agreed to elevate their long-standing strategic partnership with a Declaration of Friendship to strengthen and expand the ties between the two countries.

"'Sanjha Prayaas, Sabka Vikaas; Shared Effort, Progress For All'. Each step we take to strengthen the relationship is a step towards shaping international security, regional and global peace, prosperity and stability for years to come," the declaration said.

The declaration "proclaims a higher level of trust and coordination that will continue to draw our governments and people together across the spectrum of human endeavor for a better world".

It said that the India-US Vision Statement endorsed in September 2014 "committed our nations to a long-term partnership for prosperity and peace, through which our countries work together to make our citizens and the global community, safer and more prosperous".

"The Declaration makes tangible and enduring the commitment of our two countries to harness the inherent potential of our two democracies, and upgrades the unique nature of our relationship, committing our Governments to work through areas of difference."

It said that through this Declaration of Friendship and "in keeping with our national principles and laws, we respect:

* Equal opportunity for all our people through democracy, effective governance, and fundamental freedoms;

* An open, just, sustainable, and inclusive rule-based global order;

* The importance of strengthened bilateral defense ties;

* The importance of adapting to and mitigating the impact of climate change through national, bilateral and multilateral efforts;

* The beneficial impact that sustainable, inclusive development will have on our two countries and the world;

* The centrality of economic policies that support the creation of strong and sustainable jobs, inclusive development, and rising incomes;

and

* Transparent and rule-based markets that seek to drive the trade and investment necessary to uplift all members of society and promote economic development.

It said as part of this declaration of friendship, they commited to holding regular summits with increased periodicity and elevating the strategic dialogue to a strategic and commercial dialogue, reflecting both countries' commitment "to strengthen commercial and economic ties to advance mutual prosperity, regional economic growth and stability"

They also agreed to establish secure hotlines between the Indian prime minister and the US president and their national security advisors, cooperate to develop joint ventures on strategically significant projects, build meaningful security and effective counterterrorism cooperation; hold regional and multilateral consultations; consult and hold regular consultations in multilateral forums; and leverage the talents and strengths of their people to enhance sustainable, inclusive development around the globe.

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