The following is the text of a joint statement issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with President Barack Obama during his just-concluded visit to the United States:
The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and the President of the United States of America Barack Obama met this morning. Marking their first bilateral summit, the President recognised the Prime Minister's historic election victory in the largest democratic election ever held.
The two leaders extolled the broad strategic and global partnership between the United States and India, which will continue to generate greater prosperity and security for their citizens and the world. Prime Minister Modi emphasised the priority India accords to its partnership with the United States, a principal partner in the realisation of India's rise as a responsible, influential world power.
Given the shared values, people-to-people ties, and pluralistic traditions, President Obama recognised that India's rise as a friend and partner is in the United States' interest.
They endorsed the first "Vision Statement for the Strategic Partnership'' as a guide to strengthen and deepen cooperation in every sector for the benefit of global stability and people's livelihoods over the next ten years. They committed to a new mantra for the relationship, "Chalein Saath Saath: Forward Together We Go.''
The two leaders recognised that the bilateral relationship enjoys strong support in both countries, which has allowed the strategic partnership to flourish even as the governments change. Welcoming the wide range of collaborative activities undertaken to improve their citizens' lives, both leaders agreed to revitalise the existing partnership and find new areas for collaboration and mutual benefit.
Noting that two-way trade has increased five-fold since 2001 to nearly $100 billion, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi committed to facilitate the actions necessary to increase trade another five-fold. 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.
In order to raise investment by institutional investors and corporate entities, the leaders pledged to establish an Indo-US Investment Initiative led by the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Treasury, with special focus on capital market development and financing of infrastructure. They pledged to establish an Infrastructure Collaboration Platform convened by the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Commerce to enhance participation of US companies in infrastructure projects in India.
In this context, the US government welcomes India`s offer for US industry to be the lead partner in developing smart cities in Ajmer (Rajasthan), Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh).The Prime Minister will welcome two trade missions in 2015 focused on meeting India's infrastructure needs with US technology and services.
They also committed to a new partnership to advance the Prime Minister`s goal of improved access to clean water and sanitation for all. USAID, through the Urban India Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Alliance, will serve as knowledge partner to help leverage private and civil society innovation, expertise, and technology, such as with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to support the Prime Minister`s 500 Cities National Urban Development Mission and Clean India Campaign.
The President welcomed the Prime Minister's ambitious plan to extend basic financial services to all its citizens, giving them powerful tools to manage their finances and more fully participate in India's growing economy. The President and Prime Minister underlined the important contribution that US locomotive technology, equipment to monitor rail system assets, and US best practices can play in modernising India's vast railway network, including accessing programs of US Trade and Development Agency in this work.
The leaders discussed their concerns about the current impasse in the World Trade Organization 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 United States.
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 recognised 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.
The two leaders committed to hold public-private discussions in early 2015 under the Commercial Dialogue on new areas of cooperation, including innovation in advanced manufacturing. In order to share best practices in manufacturing and work toward greater harmonisation of standards, the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership programme will start a dialogue with Indian counterparts. The two countries plan to work expeditiously through several joint initiatives to facilitate greater confidence in cross-border trade and investment.
The President also offered to support the Prime Minister to achieve his goal of preparing young Indians for 21st century jobs through new partnerships to share expertise and global standards for skills development in India, including by reinvigorating the higher education dialogue.
The leaders look forward to the annual US-India Economic and Financial Partnership in early 2015.
They also welcomed the expansion of the partnership in oversight of financial institutions, including between Reserve Bank of India and the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency.
They also agreed to reinvigorate the India-US CEO Forum, and welcomed India`s offer to host the Forum for the second time in early 2015.
Energy and climate change
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to implement fully the US-India civil nuclear cooperation agreement. They established a Contact Group on advancing the implementation of civil nuclear energy cooperation in order to realise early their shared goal of delivering electricity from US-built nuclear power plants in India. They looked forward to advancing the dialogue to discuss all implementation issues, including but not limited to administrative issues, liability, technical issues, and licensing to facilitate the establishment of nuclear parks, including power plants with Westinghouse and GE-Hitachi technology.
Recognising the critical importance of increasing energy access, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving resilience in the face of climate change, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi agreed to a new and enhanced strategic partnership on energy security, clean energy, and climate change. They agreed to strengthen and expand the highly successful US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) through a series of priority initiatives, which include:
- A new Energy Smart Cities Partnership to promote efficient urban energy infrastructure;
- A new programme to scale up renewable energy integration into India's power grid;
- Cooperation to support India's efforts to upgrade its alternative energy institutes and to develop new innovation centers; ''
- Expansion of the Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) programme to unlock additional private sector investment and accelerate the deployment of cost-effective, super-efficient appliances; and
- The formation of a new Clean Energy Finance Forum to promote investment and trade in clean energy projects.
Both leaders are committed to working towards a successful outcome in Paris in 2015 of the conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the creation of a new global agreement on climate change.
The leaders recalled previous bilateral and multilateral statements on the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). They recognised the need to use the institutions and expertise of the Montreal Protocol to reduce consumption and production of HFCs, while continuing to report and account for the quantities reduced under the UNFCCC. They pledged to urgently arrange a meeting of their bilateral task force on HFCs prior to the next meeting of the Montreal Protocol to discuss issues such as safety, cost, and commercial access to new or alternative technologies to replace HFCs. The two sides would thereafter cooperate on next steps to tackle the challenge posed by HFCs to global warming.
They launched a new US-India Partnership for Climate Resilience to advance capacity for climate adaptation planning, and a new programme of work on air quality aimed at delivering benefits for climate change and human health.
They also launched a new US-India Climate Fellowship Programme to build long-term capacity to address climate change-related issues in both countries. The President and Prime Minister instructed their senior officials to work through the US-India Energy Dialogue, US-India Joint Working Group on Combating Climate Change, and other relevant fora to advance these and other initiatives.
The leaders welcomed the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding between the Export-Import Bank and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, which would make up to $1 billion in financing available to bolster India's efforts to transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient energy economy, while boosting US renewable energy exports to India. The two leaders reiterated the importance of conserving India's precious biodiversity and agreed to explore opportunities for collaboration on national parks and wildlife conservation.
Defence and homeland security cooperation
The Prime Minister and the President stated their intention to expand defence cooperation to bolster national, regional, and global security. The two leaders reaffirmed that India and the United States would build an enduring partnership in which both sides treat each other at the same level as their closest partners, including defence technology transfers, trade, research, co-production, and co-development.
To facilitate deeper defence cooperation, they welcomed the decision to renew for ten more years the 2005 Framework for the US-India Defence Relationship and directed their defence teams to develop plans for more ambitious programmes and activities. The two leaders also agreed to reinvigorate the political-military dialogue and expand its role to serve as a wider dialogue on export licensing, defence cooperation and strategic cooperation.
The leaders welcomed the first meeting under the framework of the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative in September 2014 and endorsed its decision to establish a task force to expeditiously evaluate and decide on unique projects and technologies which would have a transformative impact on bilateral defence relations and enhance India's defence industry and military capabilities.
The President and Prime Minister welcomed cooperation in the area of military education and training, and endorsed plans for the United States to cooperate with India`s planned National Defence University. They also decided to expand military-to-military partnerships, including expert exchanges, dialogues, and joint training and exercises. They also committed to enhancing exchanges of civilian and military intelligence and consultation.
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.'
The leaders reaffirmed their deep concern over the continued threat posed by terrorism, most recently highlighted by the dangers presented by the ISIL, and underlined the need for continued comprehensive global efforts to combat and defeat terrorism. The leaders stressed the need for joint and concerted efforts, including the dismantling of safe havens for terrorist and criminal networks, to disrupt all financial and tactical support for networks such as Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, the D-Company, and the Haqqanis. They reiterated their call for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai to justice.
They pledged to enhance criminal law enforcement, security, and military information exchanges, and strengthen cooperation on extradition and mutual legal assistance. Through operational cooperation through their law enforcement agencies, they aimed to prevent the spread of counterfeit currency and inhibit the use of cyberspace by terrorists, criminals, and those who use the internet for unlawful purposes, and to facilitate investigation of criminal and terrorist activities. The leaders also committed to identify modalities to exchange terrorist watch lists. President Obama pledged to help India counter the threat of improvised explosive devices with information and technology. The leaders committed to pursue provision of US-made mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles to India.
The President and Prime Minister looked forward to easing travel between their two countries, as India introduces visa-on-arrival for US citizens in 2015 and works toward meeting the requirements to make the United States' Global Entry Programme available to Indian citizens.
High technology, space and health cooperation
Fundamental science and high technology cooperation has been a critical pillar of the strategic partnership, the two leaders confirmed, and they looked forward to renewing the Science and Technology Agreement in order to expand joint activities in innovative technology. The Prime Minister welcomed the United States as a partner country, for the first time, at India's annual Technology Summit in November 2014. In addition, they committed to convene the ninth High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG). They plan to launch new partnerships to source and scale innovation for the benefit of citizens in both countries and to harness innovation to solve global development challenges.
The President welcomed India's contribution and cooperation on high-energy physics and accelerator research and development with the US Department of Energy. The President thanked the Prime Minister for his offer to have US institutions partner with a new Indian Institute of Technology.
The leaders committed to partner on the Digital India initiative, with the goal of enhancing digital infrastructure, deploying e-governance and e-services, promoting industry collaboration, and digitally empowering India's citizens. The President welcomed India's proposal to establish the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN, or knowledge) under which India would invite and host up to 1,000 American academics each year to teach in centrally-recognised Indian universities, at their convenience.
The two leaders exchanged congratulations on the successful entry into orbit of their respective Mars missions, which occurred two days apart. They welcomed the establishment and planned first meeting of the NASA-ISRO Mars Joint Working Group under the US -India Civil Space Joint Working Group. The leaders also look forward to the successful conclusion of a new agreement to support the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission, to be launched in 2021.
The United States and India also intend to start a new dialogue on maintaining long-term security and sustainability of the outer space environment, including space situational awareness and collision avoidance in outer space.
The President and Prime Minister recognised the extensive ongoing cooperation in the health sector, which they will put to use in preventing the spread of the Ebola virus. The President welcomed India's contribution to the UN Fund and donation of protective gear to the effort against Ebola, and thanked the Prime Minister for encouraging Indian-owned businesses in West Africa to contribute to the fight against Ebola. The Prime Minister also offered to deploy Indian expertise in the fight against Ebola, including by investing its resources in producing modelling of the spread of the disease, jointly producing rapid deployable diagnostics, and considering joint training of response personnel.
The United States stands ready to amplify India's efforts to achieve a further reduction in preventable child and maternal deaths, including replicating India`s successful approaches in other countries.
The leaders agreed to launch a new phase of the India-US Vaccine Action Programme to develop affordable vaccines for dengue, malaria, and tuberculosis, and the establishment of an adjuvant development center. They also agreed in principle to initiate cooperative activities to increase capacity in cancer research and patient care delivery, including by developing collaborative programmes for and with India`s upcoming AIIMS-National Cancer Institute. The President welcomed India's offer to take a leading role in the Global Health Security Agenda.
Global issues and regional consultations
Highlighting their shared democratic values, the President and Prime Minister recognised the critical role that women play in India and the United States, as shown by India's "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao'' (Save Daughters, Celebrate Daughters, Educate Daughters) initiative. They looked forward to holding a Women Empowerment Dialogue in order to exchange best practices to enhance the role of women in their countries, and they asserted zero tolerance for violence against women.
As a critical step in strengthening global non-proliferation and export control regimes, the President and Prime Minister committed to continue 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.
They reviewed their bilateral dialogue on nuclear security and endorsed working through India's Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership to reinforce safe and secure use of nuclear energy worldwide. They also pledged to strengthen their efforts to forge a partnership to lead global efforts for non-proliferation of WMDs, to reduce the salience of nuclear weapons in international affairs, and to promote universal, verifiable, and non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament.
Noting India's "Act East'' policy and the United States' rebalance to Asia, the leaders committed to work more closely with other Asia Pacific countries through consultations, dialogues, and joint exercises. They underlined the importance of their trilateral dialogue with Japan and decided to explore holding this dialogue among their foreign ministers.
The President and Prime Minister emphasised the need to accelerate infrastructure connectivity and economic development corridors for regional economic integration linking South, Southeast, and Central Asia. The President reiterated that the United States, through its New Silk Road and India-Pacific Economic Corridor, is promoting the linkage of India to its neighbors and the wider region to enable a freer flow of commerce and energy.
The President and Prime Minister noted the success of their countries' collaboration on agricultural innovation in three African countries. They announced a new agreement to expand joint development initiatives in third countries in a range of sectors, including agricultural productivity, clean energy, health, women's empowerment, and disaster preparedness. They also look forward to continuing the productive cooperation in Afghanistan on promoting women's economic empowerment.
The Prime Minister and the President reaffirmed their shared interest in preserving regional peace and stability, which is critical to the Asia Pacific region's continued prosperity. The leaders expressed concern about rising tensions over maritime territorial disputes, and affirmed the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region, especially in the South China Sea. The Prime Minister and President called on all parties to avoid the use, or threat of use, of force in advancing their claims. The two leaders urged the concerned parties to pursue resolution of their territorial and maritime disputes through all peaceful means, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
India and the United States pledged to consult closely on global crises, especially unfolding events in Syria and Iraq. The two leaders committed to exchange information about nationals returning from these conflict zones, and to seek cooperation in protecting and responding to the needs of civilians stranded in the middle of these conflicts.
Recognising the importance of their respective strategic partnerships with Afghanistan, the leaders asserted the importance of a sustainable, inclusive, sovereign, and democratic political order in Afghanistan, and committed to continue close consultations and cooperation in support of Afghanistan's future.
They stressed the need for diplomacy to resolve the serious concerns of the international community regarding Iran's nuclear programme, and called on Iran to comply with its UN Security Council-imposed obligations and to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The two leaders expressed concerns over the continued development by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, including its uranium enrichment activities. They urged DPRK to take concrete actions toward denuclearisation and other goals, as well as to comply fully with all its international obligations, including all relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and to fulfill its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks.
The President expressed appreciation for the contributions of Indian peacekeepers to global peace and stability for the past 60 years, and welcomed the partnership with India to train third country peacekeepers at India's training center in New Delhi. The President reaffirmed his support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member, and both leaders committed to ensuring that the Security Council continues to play an effective role in maintaining international peace and security as envisioned in the United Nations Charter.
The President 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.
The President thanked the Prime Minister for the gracious invitation to return to the great nation of India. In conclusion, the two leaders affirmed their long-term vision for a resilient and ambitious partnership through the first "Vision Statement for the Strategic Partnership,'' which they will hold up as the guiding framework for their governments and people.