Modi, Barack reiterate commitment to deepen ties for the cause of peace, stability and prosperity

Lalit Shastri

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “Chai pe Charcha” (discussions over tea)

The High-water mark of the joint-statement by US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the end of bilateral talks at Hyderabad House here this afternoon was the friendly rapport between the two leaders and the reiteration of commitment by them to carry forward and strengthen bilateral relations and deepen ties between the two countries.

President Obama talked of “Chai pe Charcha” (discussions over tea) and went on to emphasise that strong relations with India are critical for America’s interests and also for nuclear proliferation and global health.

President Obama said US supports India for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. He also announced that they have achieved two breakthroughs in the Civil Nuclear Agreement. He went on to emphasise that the trade and economic partnership between the two countries should help in improving the daily lives of the people.

Mr. Obama expressed optimism saying in the last couple of years trade between the US and India has increased by 60 per cent and is now to the tune of dollars 100 billion. This should increase even more. The relations between the two countries will deepen defence and security cooperation. It will help the two countries take a major step forward when it comes to defence technology. It would also create a new vision for Asia-pacific.

Mr. Obama appreciated India’s strong counter-terrorism initiatives and said that the two countries will be reliable partners for Afghanistan and the focus would be on what more we can do do as global partners.

Mr. Obama said that we are on our way to full implementation of Civil nuclear Agreement. He extended full support to India’s road map for clean and solar energy, clean air quality in Indian cities and reduction in hydroflourocarbons. India’s voice is very important on the issue of global climate, he added.

Prime Minister Modi said in his statement “ours is a natural global partnership”. The partnership is needed more in the digital age. The partnership is needed more when there is widespread turmoil in the world and for the purpose of peace, stability and prosperity around the world and for shaping the character of this century, he said adding we have to convert a good start into lasting progress…we have to transform our vision into sustained effort and concrete achievement. I see renewed energy in our engagement. The civil nuclear agreement was the centrepiece of transformed relationship. It created a new economic opportunity for clean energy, he said and pointed out that six years after the bilateral agreement, we are moving towards commercial viability while meeting international obligations.

Mr. Obama, he said, has extended strong US support for India’s membership of International export control regimes. He said we have a new opportunity for development and co-production and for advanced defence projects.

Terrorism remains a global threat. Even as existing challenges persist, there are new challenges. Every country must fulfill commitment to bring terrorists to justice and eliminate terrorist havens, he asserted. Strong and a growing economic relationship is vital for our strategic partnership. Our business climate is improving and it is a matter of great optimism for our business ties, said Mr. Modi.

We will start discussions on social security arrangements so important for Indians working in the US, clean and renewable energy is a national and international priority, he said emphasizing India’s goal to use clean energy.

Mr. Modi also said that he has asked Mr. Obama to lead international efforts in making renewable energy more accessible and affordable. The focus will be on peace, stability prosperity in Asia, pacific and Indian ocean. We will work closely to help Afghanistan through its transition. We have defined a broad vision of relationship and have decided to give a new thrust to the critical partnership. There must be regular Summits at greater frequency, Mr. Modi said and announced there will be hotlines between “me and Barack” and national security advisers of the two countries.

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