Washington: The US today broadbased its strategic ties with India by pledging to back New Delhi's entry into elite nuclear clubs and as a permanent member of the reformed UN Security Council.
In a joint statement issued at the end of the five-day visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US and after his summit meeting with President Barack Obama, the two countries decided to cooperate in combating terrorism.
In this photograph released by the Indian Press Information Bureau (PIB) on September 30, 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) listens to US President Barack Obama during his welcome to the White House in Washington, DC, on September 29, 2014. Pic/AFP
They stressed the need for concerted and joint efforts including the dismantling of safe havens for terrorist and criminal networks. This would include efforts to disrupt all financial and tactical support for network such as al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e- Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, the D-company and the Haqqanis. They reiterated their calls for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks to justice.
Seeking to expand cooperation in strengthening global nonproliferation and export control regimes, the two leaders committed themselves to continue to work towards India's phased entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group.
The President affirmed that India meets MTCR requirements and is ready for membership in the NSG. He supported India's early application and eventual membership in all four regimes.
As active participants in the Nuclear Security Summit process, the United States and India welcomed progress toward reducing the risk of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons or related materials, and noted their shared commitment to improving nuclear security nationally and globally.
The two sides also reaffirmed their shared interest in preserving regional peace and stability and expressed concern about rising tensions over maritime territorial disputes.
They stressed the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region especially in the South China Sea. Though the statement did not name China which has maritime disputes with its neighbours like Vietnam and the Philippines , the reference was apparent when it said that the prime minister and president called on all parties to avoid the use or threat of use of force in advancing their claims.
The leaders agreed to intensify cooperation in maritime security to ensure freedom of navigation and unimpeded movement of lawful shipping and commercial activity, in accordance with accepted principles of international law.
To achieve this objective, the two sides considered enhancing technology partnerships for India's Navy including assessing possible areas of technology cooperation. They also agreed to upgrade their existing bilateral exercise MALABAR.
President Obama also affirmed his commitment to enhancing India's voice and vote in international financial institutions, and ensuring that resources are made available and are used creatively through multilateral development banks for infrastructure financing.
He pledged his support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member. Both the leaders recognised and agreed to revitalize the existing partnership and find new areas for collaboration and mutual benefit.
Noting that two-way trade has increased fivefold since 2001 to nearly USD 100 billion, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi committed to facilitate the actions necessary to increase trade another fivefold.
President Obama and Prime Minister Modi recognised that US and Indian businesses have a critical role to play in sustainable, inclusive, and job-led growth and development. The leaders discussed their concerns about the current impasse in the World Trade Organisation and its effect on the multilateral trading system, and directed their officials to consult urgently along with other WTO members on the next steps.
The leaders committed to work through the Trade Policy Forum to promote a business environment attractive for companies to invest and manufacture in India and in the US. Agreeing on the need to foster innovation in a manner that promotes economic growth and job creation, the leaders committed to establish an annual high-level Intellectual Property (IP) Working Group with appropriate decision-making and technical-level meetings as part of the Trade Policy Forum.
They also recognized in particular the contribution of the Indian and US Information Technology (IT) industry and the IT-enabled service industry in strengthening India-US trade and investment relations