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India, U.S. to team up at global level

India and the US have decided not only to deepen their bilateral ties but also the partnership at the global level, a top Obama administration official has said ahead of the first-ever strategic and commercial dialogue beginning Monday.

“Our governments have made the decision at the highest levels to really deeply partner with each other, not just in the bilateral relationship, but partner with each other on the global agenda,” Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal, told PTI in an interview.

“You are increasingly seeing high-level of contact and coordination between our two governments on important issues.

And that to me is exactly where all of us had aspirational ambitions to place the relationship and we are actually now starting to see that in an operational sense,” Ms. Biswal said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker would lead the American delegation to the two-day inaugural strategic and commercial dialogue which will set the stage for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third summit meeting with President Barack Obama within a year.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would lead the Indian delegation at the dialogue to be held at the State Department here.

They would be joined by US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and his Indian counterpart Piyush Goyal for an energy dialogue on its sidelines.

Top CEOs of the two countries would be meeting for the India-US CEOs Forum alongside.

“We are very excited about hosting the first strategic and commercial dialogue,” Ms. Biswal said, adding that the US is looking very much forward to Mr. Modi’s visit at the United Nations and in Silicon Valley.

Ambitious agenda

“We have set a very ambitious agenda of where we want to go. So if you want to speak in terms of outcome and deliverables, the focus would be on making very substantial, solid and tangible progress on that agenda,” she said when asked about the outcome of the strategic and commercial dialogue.

“Some of these things can be done together and some of it is going to be about things that we do in our respective governments to facilitate the outcomes,” she said.

“There are things that India needs to do, that India is focused on, we want to be welcoming and supportive of that, but they are not for us to do. They are for India to do.

There are things that we need to focus on that we are looking at, that are important to India but are not necessarily for India to do or for us to do together. And we are certainly looking at that,” she added. –PTI

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