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Lifting of curbs on high-tech exports hailed
New Homeland Security Dialogue between Interior Ministries announced
NEW DELHI: The Joint Statement issued by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and U.S. President Barack Obama late on Monday gave a call against terrorism and said that all terror networks, “including the Lashkar-e-Taiba, must be defeated.”
While calling on Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, it neither mentioned the country as a victim of terrorism nor the continuance of terrorist networks on its soil as unacceptable. Both these formulations were mentioned by Mr. Obama during his address to Parliament.
On Afghanistan, the two sides decided to upgrade their mutual appreciation for attempting to stabilise the country to resolving to work together on joint projects. Three areas were identified to begin with — capacity building, agriculture and empowerment of women.
Dr. Singh welcomed Mr. Obama's affirmation that, “in the years ahead,” the U.S. looked forward to a reformed U.N. Security Council that includes India as a permanent member and decided to intensify engagement to ensure that the UNSC continued to “effectively play the role” during India's current two-year term as a non-permanent member.
Both leaders underscored that all states have an obligation to comply with and implement Security Council Resolutions, including U.N. sanctions regimes.
They announced a new Homeland Security Dialogue between the two Interior Ministries to draw up an action plan in areas where cooperation would be developed — operationally, counter-terrorism technology transfers and capacity building.
In addition to welcoming the lifting of curbs on high-tech exports, the Joint Statement touched on U.S. support for India's full membership in four multilateral export control regimes — the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Australia Group, and the Wassenaar Arrangement in a “phased manner.”
India gave the assurance that it would take steps towards full adoption of the regimes' export control requirements to reflect its prospective membership “with both processes moving forward together.”
The U.S. felt that India should qualify for membership of the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement if it imposed export controls on all items on these regimes' control lists.
While Mr. Obama — at the joint press conference with the Prime Minister and at Parliament's Central Hall — mentioned East Asia as the region where India should focus on, the Joint Statement said both sides would do the same also on Central and West Asia.
In defence, apart from resolving to further strengthen cooperation in the existing areas — security dialogue, exercises, and promoting trade and collaboration in defence equipment and technology — Mr. Obama welcomed India's decision to purchase U.S. high-technology defence items, which “will contribute to creating jobs in the U.S.”
On the stalled entry of U.S. nuclear companies, Dr. Singh expressed his commitment to ensure a level playing field “consistent with India's national and international legal obligations.”
Further, U.S. nuclear energy firms would participate on the basis of mutually acceptable technical and commercial terms and conditions that enable a viable tariff regime for electricity generated.
On non-proliferation, apart from reiterating their desire for reducing the importance of nuclear weapons in state policy and tightening anti-trafficking measures, the two sides welcomed the MoU for cooperation in the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership being established by India to which the U.S. has assured assistance.
Both sides reaffirmed their unilateral and voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing and reiterated their commitment to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and bring it into force at an early date.
Reverting to high-tech collaboration, they agreed to continue discussions on future lunar missions, an international space station, human space flight and data sharing and to reconvene the Civil Space Joint Working Group in early 2011.
The Joint Statement highlighted the just-concluded Implementing Arrangement for enhanced monsoon forecasting as an “important example of bilateral scientific cooperation advancing economic development, agriculture and food security.”
Prime Minister Singh and President Obama reiterated the importance of a positive result for the current climate change negotiations at the forthcoming UNFCC conference in Mexico and affirmed their support for the Copenhagen Accord, which should contribute positively to a successful outcome in Cancun.
They also welcomed expanding investment flow in both directions and besides welcoming the work of Corporate U.S. and India in this regard, wanted greater engagement by Indian and American small and medium-sized enterprises which could act as a “critical driver” of the economic relationship.
New areas identified
Seeking to revive the cooperation in agriculture of the 1960s, the two leaders identified some areas such as developing, testing and replicating transformative technologies.
The Prime Minister and the President “celebrated” the signing of an MoU creating a new Global Disease Detection Regional Center in New Delhi, which will facilitate preparedness against threats
In addition to pursuing their independent programmes, it was decided to use their expertise in capacity building to extend food security to interested countries, including in Africa, in consultation with the host governments.
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