Krishna to travel to Washington next year to launch “India-U.S. Strategic Dialogue” that will focus on various issues
Statement reaffirms both sides’ commitment to build on more coordination in counter-terrorism
Opening of consultations on reprocessing arrangements and procedures to begin today
NEW DELHI: India and the United States intend to launch the “third phase” of their relationship by expanding the ambit of dialogue to include an annual meeting between the External Affairs Minister and the Secretary of State and involving non-governmental figures and organisations.
It is also proposed to hold discussions on the Fissile Missile Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), increased cooperation in countering terrorism and reforms in multilateral institutions and groupings.
Talks on reprocessing arrangements will open this month and those on an investment treaty next month.
External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna will travel to Washington next year to launch the “India-U.S. Strategic Dialogue” that will focus on a wide range of bilateral, global, and regional issues, continuing programmes now being implemented and taking mutually beneficial initiatives that complement Indian and U.S. development, security and economic interests.
A joint statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mr. Krishna reaffirmed the commitment of both governments to build on the recent increased coordination in counter-terrorism, with Ms. Clinton inviting Home Minister P. Chidambaram to visit Washington in the “near future.”
The two reaffirmed their commitment to the early adoption of a U.N. Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism, which would strengthen the framework for global cooperation. They outlined several issues in the joint statement that would be prioritised by both countries. This included defence cooperation envisaged under the Defence Cooperation Framework Agreement of 2005.
Sharing a vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, both sides agreed to move ahead in the Conference on Disarmament towards a non-discriminatory, internationally and effectively verifiable FMCT.
A high-level bilateral dialogue will try to close gaps on achieving global nuclear non-proliferation and cooperation to prevent nuclear terrorism.
They also announced the opening of consultations on reprocessing arrangements and procedures from July 21.
Under the new architecture of strategic dialogue, discussions will also take place on exchanging views on reforming the United Nations Security Council, the G8 and the G20 so that these organisations and groupings “reflect the world of the 21st century” in order to maintain long-term credibility, relevance and effectiveness.
The statement noted that as G20 members, India and the U.S. had pledged to work together with other major economies to foster a sustainable recovery from the global economic crisis through a commitment to open trade and investment policies.
In this respect, Mr. Krishna and Ms. Clinton reaffirmed the commitment of both governments to facilitate a pathway forward on the WTO Doha Round.
They pledged to cooperate to not only preserve the economic synergies between the two countries that have grown over the years, but also to increase and diversify bilateral economic relations and expand trade and investment flows.
The two sides noted that negotiations for a Bilateral Investment Treaty would be scheduled in New Delhi in August. They resolved to harness the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of the private sectors of both countries with a newly-configured CEO Forum that would meet later this year.
Both sides affirmed the importance of expanding educational cooperation through exchanges and institutional collaboration. They agreed on the need to expand the role of the private sector in achieving this.
Recognising the great potential in science and technology collaboration, the two sides concluded a Science and Technology Endowment Agreement, and signed a Technology Safeguards Agreement that will permit the launch of civil or non-commercial satellites containing U.S. components on Indian space launch vehicles.
Both sides welcomed India’s participation in the FutureGen Project for the construction of the first commercial scale fully integrated carbon capture and sequestration project and in the Integrated Ocean Development Project, an international endeavour for enhancing the understanding of Earth and Ocean dynamics, and addressing the challenges of climate change.
Noting the high potential that exists due to the complementarities in the knowledge and innovation-based economies of the two countries, it was agreed that the agenda and the initiatives in the bilateral High Technology Cooperation Dialogue should continue with the objective of facilitating smoother trade in high technology between the two economies reflecting the present strategic nature of the India-U.S. relationship.
It was also agreed to form working groups to focus on new areas of common interest – nano-technology, civil nuclear technology, civil aviation and licensing issues in defence, strategic and civil nuclear trade.
Both countries decided to intensify collaboration on energy security and climate change. Efforts will be made to increase energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean energy technologies through the India-U.S. Energy Dialogue and a Global Climate Change Dialogue.
It was also agreed to launch a process of bilateral scientific and technological collaboration to support the development, deployment and transfer of transformative and innovative technologies in areas of mutual interest, including solar and other renewable energy, clean coal and energy efficiency and other relevant areas.
India and the U.S. affirmed their commitment to work together with other countries, including through the Major Economies Forum, for positive results in the UNFCCC Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December.