The Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh and the President of the United States of America Barack Obama met this morning followed by a working luncheon at the White House. Marking their third bilateral summit, the two leaders reflected proudly on the transformation of United States-India relations during the last decade, affirming that the partnership between the two democratic nations is stronger today than at any point in their 67-year history.
Rooted in common democratic values and strong people to people ties, the United States and India have developed a comprehensive global strategic partnership, both in name and in substance that has made their citizens safer and more prosperous.
President Obama and Prime Minister Singh pledged to make the next decade equally as transformative, challenging their governments to reach the full potential of this partnership, particularly in the areas of security cooperation, bilateral trade and investment, energy and environment, higher education, and global architecture.
The Leaders called for expanding security cooperation between the United States and India to address 21st century challenges in the areas of counter-terrorism, cyber, space, and global health security.
Applauding bilateral defense cooperation, including trade and military exercises, President Obama and Prime Minister Singh expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved to date in defence relations. They emphasized the need for more intensive defense cooperation on both sides. The Leaders reaffirmed their desire to further strengthen defence trade cooperation endorsing a Joint Declaration on Defence Cooperation as a means of enhancing their partnership in defence technology transfer, joint research, co-development and co-production. President Obama encouraged the further participation of US firms in partnering India’s efforts to enhance its defence capacities. President Obama also welcomed India’s decision to participate in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise hosted by U.S. Pacific Command in 2014.
Affirming their deep concern over the continuing threat posed by terrorism, President Obama and Prime Minister Singh stressed the need for joint and concerted effort, including dismantling of terrorist safe havens, and disrupting all financial and tactical support for terrorism. The Leaders decided to significantly expand information sharing and intelligence cooperation to address threats to their respective nations including strengthening the bilateral relationship to exchange information on known and suspected terrorists. The Leaders emphasized the importance of expanding homeland security cooperation to enhance exchanges on megacity policing strategies, securing the global supply chain and anti-counterfeiting efforts. India welcomed the U.S. offer of membership in the US ‘Global Entry’ Trusted Traveler Network Program, to facilitate expedited entry of Indian travelers to the United States.
Noting that two-way trade has increased fivefold since 2001 to nearly $100 billion, President Obama and Prime Minister Singh agreed that there are no insurmountable impediments to bilateral trade increasing an additional fivefold. President Obama expressed confidence that the ongoing Indian economic reforms and policy measures to liberalize India’s economy would accelerate economic growth, opening greater avenues for trade and creating jobs in both countries. In this respect, the Leaders recognized in particular the role and contribution of the Indian and U.S. Information Technology industry and the IT enabled service industry in strengthening India-US trade and investment relations.
The Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to concluding a high-standard Bilateral Investment Treaty that will foster openness to investment, transparency, and predictability, and thereby support economic growth and job creation in both countries. The Leaders welcomed progress towards increased engagement by experts from both governments, underlining the need for expeditious progress to address all trade and investment policy issues of bilateral concern so as to remove obstacles and improve the business environment in both countries. In this respect, both sides agreed to consider establishing a Joint Committee on Investment in Manufacturing.
The Leaders also committed their officials to work toward a successful outcome at the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Bali.
The Leaders welcomed the robust cooperation in cutting-edge scientific research and joint collaboration in science, innovation, and entrepreneurship, for the benefit of citizens in both countries. The United States welcomed the invitation by India for the United States to be Partner Country in India’s Science and Technology Summit in 2014.
President Obama and Prime Minister Singh discussed ways to strengthen bilateral efforts to promote energy efficiency, clean energy, and address climate change.
In the civil nuclear power sector, President Obama and Prime Minister Singh noted that, with government-to-government procedures agreed, commercial negotiations between U.S. companies and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) are proceeding. They welcomed the announcement that NPCIL and U.S. nuclear company Westinghouse have concluded a Preliminary Contract to develop a nuclear power plant in Gujarat in India. Building on this, the Leaders urged NPCIL and U.S. companies Westinghouse and General Electric-Hitachi to expedite the necessary work to establish nuclear power plants in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. Both sides reaffirm their commitment to the full and timely implementation of the India-US Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.
The U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE), launched by the two Leaders in 2009, is expected to pave the way for energy to millions of Indian households. To expand the availability of clean energy resources to more people, President Obama and Prime Minister Singh endorsed the proposal to launch Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE), a PACE initiative, to rapidly deploy innovative renewable energy solutions to those who currently lack access to energy.
Recognizing that climate change is a defining challenge of our time and that there are mutual benefits to intensifying cooperation, President Obama and Prime Minister Singh announced the establishment of an India-U.S. Climate Change Working Group to develop and advance action-oriented cooperation, as well as to begin an enhanced dialogue focusing on working closely in developing an ambitious climate change agreement for the post-2020 period, and on strengthening bilateral efforts in this regard.
The two leaders agreed to immediately convene the India-U.S. Task Force on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to discuss, inter alia, multilateral approaches that include using the expertise and the institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down the consumption and production of HFCs, based on economically-viable and technically feasible alternatives, and include HFCs within the scope of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol for accounting and reporting of emissions.
The Leaders are committed to support the full implementation of the agreed outcomes under the UNFCCC with its ongoing negotiations. They strongly welcomed the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to mobilize political will through 2014 towards the successful adoption of a protocol, another legal instrument, or an agreed outcome with legal force under the convention applicable to all parties by 2015, during COP-21 that France stands ready to host. They also supported complimentary initiatives, through multilateral approaches that include using the expertise and the institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and the consumption of HFCs, based on the examination of economically viable and technically feasible alternatives. They will continue to include HFCs within the scope of UNFCCC and its Kyoto protocol for accounting and reporting of emissions.
President Obama and Prime Minister Singh emphasized the dangers that high oil prices can pose to the global economy and the need to increase oil market transparency and emergency response collaboration, through closer coordination and bilateral dialogue.
President Obama and Prime Minister Singh believe that the United States and India should look to each other as partners of first resort in addressing global challenges.
The Leaders reflected on the important strategic partnerships the United States and India have formed with Afghanistan, reaffirming their commitment to supporting a smooth security and political transition. The Leaders recognized that violent extremists continue to pose challenges to Afghanistan’s security and stability and, in this context, emphasized the need for coordinated international support to help build the capacity of Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. They noted that both India and the United States will remain committed to contribute to peace, stability and development in Afghanistan during the critical transformation decade (2015-2024).
President Obama and Prime Minister Singh strongly condemned the September 26 terrorist attack in Samba in Jammu and Kashmir. They reiterated their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, and reaffirmed their commitment to eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, and disrupting terrorist networks including Al-Qa’ida and the Lashkar-e-Taiba. The Leaders called for Pakistan to work toward bringing the perpetrators of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks to justice.
In the spirit of their continuing non-proliferation cooperation, the Leaders reviewed the close cooperation of the United States and India to realize India’s intention of joining the multilateral export control regimes. The President reaffirmed the United States support for India’s early membership in these groups. Looking ahead to the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, India and the United States also will deepen their cooperation, including through the 2010 Memorandum of Understanding with India’s Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, to strengthen global nuclear security.
The Leaders stressed the need for diplomacy to resolve outstanding issues relating to Iran’s nuclear program, and called on Iran to comply with its IAEA and UN Security Council obligations.
The two Leaders also deplored the use of chemical weapons in Syria, stressing that the global norm against the use of chemical weapons by anyone and anywhere must be maintained.
Consistent with the U.S. rebalance to Asia and India’s Look East policy, the Leaders expressed a desire to partner more closely with other Asia-Pacific countries, including greater coordination with Japan, China and ASEAN, among others, including through the evolving institutional architecture of the region. The Leaders share a commitment to support regional multilateral institutions as they continue to develop into effective bodies built on international rules and norms that can address shared challenges.
Noting the contributions of Indian peacekeepers to global peace and stability for sixty years, the Leaders decided to expand their United Nations peacekeeping cooperation, including capacity-building efforts with third countries. Reaffirming that in the years ahead, the United States looks forward to a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member, President Obama and Prime Minister Singh agreed that both their nations bear a responsibility to ensure that the Security Council continues to effectively play the role in maintaining international peace and security envisioned in the United Nations Charter.
Building on ongoing consultations between India and the United States on East Asia, Central Asia and West Asia, and the trilateral dialogue mechanisms with Afghanistan and Japan respectively, the Leaders agreed to expand their consultations to include a dialogue on the Indian Ocean Region, to deepen coordination on cross-cutting issues including maritime security and conservation of natural resources.
The Leaders resolved to work together to end extreme poverty, including through expanding efforts to end preventable child deaths through the Child Survival Call to Action. Fifty years after the launch of India’s own agricultural “Green Revolution,” the Leaders applauded their countries’ work together with African partners Kenya, Malawi, and Liberia, to provide capacity building and exchange best practices for food security.
Looking forward, President Obama and Prime Minister Singh recognized that increased cooperation in these areas will strengthen the United States-India strategic partnership, highlighting shared democratic values and the capabilities the United States and India have to work together across Asia and around the globe. The two countries have crossed a threshold in their relations where both recognize that successes at home and abroad are further advanced by their cooperation.
Today’s meeting demonstrates that the interests of the United States and India continue to converge, and this partnership will indeed be a defining one for the 21st Century.