India and the United States on 26 June 2017 released a Joint Statement (JS) titled - United States and India: Prosperity through Partnership. The JS was released after bilateral talks were held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald J. Trump.
Prime Minister was in the United States from 25 to 26 June 2017. During this visit, President Donald J. Trump hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House on June 26 for an official visit to Washington, D.C.
This was Modi’s first US visit since Donald became the President of the nation.
Aim of the Visit: The visit that marks 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and the United States was planned to expand and deepen the strategic partnership between the two nations. It also aims to advance common objectives.
Common objectives include combatting terrorist threats, promoting stability across the Indo-Pacific region, increasing free and fair trade, and strengthening energy linkages.
Highlights of the Joint Statement (JS)
Democratic Stalwarts in the Indo-Pacific Region: Agreeing for a close partnership for peace and stability in the region the two countries agreed to take further measures to strengthen their partnership. In accordance with the tenets outlined in the U.N. Charter, they committed to a set of common principles for the region, according to which sovereignty and international law are respected and every country can prosper.
On this line, the two leaders reiterated the importance of respecting freedom of navigation, over flight and commerce throughout the region. The duo also called on all nations to resolve territorial and maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with the international law.
Shoulder-to-Shoulder against Terrorism: Terming terrorism as a global scourge, the two leaders stressed that it must be fought and terrorist safe havens should be rooted out from every part of the world. Resolved to fight together against this grave challenge to humanity, the two leaders committed to strengthening cooperation against terrorist threat from groups like Al-Qa’ida, ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, D-Company, and their affiliates. In addition, the US also designated Hizb-ul-Mujahideen leader as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
In this spirit, the leaders welcomed a new consultation mechanism on domestic and international terrorist designations listing proposals.
Besides, the two leaders called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries. They further called on Pakistan to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai, Pathankot, and other cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by Pakistan-based groups.
Other highlights in terms of their commitment against terrorism
• The leaders announced an increased cooperation to prevent terrorist travel and to disrupt global recruitment efforts by expanding intelligence-sharing and operational-level counterterrorism cooperation.
• They welcomed the commencement of the exchange of information on known and suspected terrorists for travel screening.
• They further resolved to strengthen information exchange on plans, movements and linkages of terrorist groups and their leaders, as well as on raising and moving of funds by terrorist groups.
• The leaders also affirmed their support for a U.N. Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that will advance and strengthen the framework for global cooperation and reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism.
• They also pledged to work together to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems and to deny access to such weapons by terrorists and non-state actors.
Growing Strategic Convergence:
President Trump and Prime Minister Modi pledged to deepen defence and security cooperation, building on the United States’ recognition of India as a Major Defense Partner. The United States and India look forward to working together on advanced defence equipment and technology at a level commensurate with that of the closest allies and partners of the United States.
Major highlight in terms on Defence Cooperation or Strategic Convergence
• The United States has offered for India’s consideration the sale of Sea Guardian Unmanned Aerial Systems, which would enhance India’s capabilities and promote shared security interests.
• Resolving to expand their maritime security cooperation, the leaders announced their intention to build on the implementation of their "White Shipping” data sharing arrangement, which enhances collaboration on maritime domain awareness.
• President Trump also welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s strong support for the United States to join as an Observer in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium.
• Noting the importance of the upcoming MALABAR naval exercise, the leaders determined to expand their engagements on shared maritime objectives and to explore new exercises.
• As global nonproliferation partners, the United States expressed strong support for India’s early membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Australia Group.
• President Trump reaffirmed the support of the United States for India’s permanent membership on a reformed U.N. Security Council.
Increasing Free and Fair Trade: With a feel that the United States and India are the leading engines of growth in the global economy, the two nations committed to intensifying their cooperation to make their nations stronger and their citizens more prosperous.
They agreed to expand and balance the trade relationship and remove the obstacles to growth and job creation. This agreement was reached in light of the extensive economic and tax reforms that was launched in the two nations, which may help them in unlocking immense economic opportunities between the two countries.
Other highlights on part of the Free and Fair Trade
• The two nations resolved to pursue increased commercial engagement in a manner that advances the principles of free and fair trade.
• For increasing the commercial engagement, the two nations planned to undertake a comprehensive review of trade relations with the goal of expediting regulatory processes by ensuring that technology and innovation are appropriately fostered, valued, and protected. It should also increase market access in areas such as agriculture, information technology, and manufactured goods and services.
• The two leaders also committed to strengthening cooperation to address excess capacity in industrial sectors. They called on their teams to find creative ways to improve bilateral trade.
• Surveying United States-India Energy ties and the two countries’ respective energy strategies, the leaders affirmed the continued importance of their Strategic Energy Partnership and of leveraging new opportunities to elevate cooperation to enhance global energy security.
• The leaders called for a rational approach that balances environment and climate policy, global economic development, and energy security needs.
Trump’s affirmation in terms of energy development and investment
• President Trump affirmed that the United States continues to remove barriers to energy development and investment in the United States and to US energy exports so that more natural gas, clean coal, and renewable resources and technologies are available to fuel India’s economic growth and inclusive development.
The two leaders namely PM Modi and President Trump also looked forward to the conclusion of contractual agreements between Westinghouse Electric Company and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India for six nuclear reactors in India and also related project financing.
Other highlights of the Joint Statement
Recognising the fact that the world has turned up be a digital world, the two leaders also agreed to intensify the mutually beneficial partnership to fully harness their innovation capabilities to solve global developmental challenges.
As global partners, the United States and India resolved to further strengthen their collaboration in health, space, oceans, and other areas of science and technology. The leaders also agreed to strengthen their cooperation to address the growing threats and challenges from malicious cyber activity and committed to working together to promote an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable cyberspace environment that supports innovation, economic growth, and commerce.
Applauding the entrepreneurship and innovation of Indians and Indian-Americans that have directly benefitted both nations, President Trump welcomed India’s formal entry into the International Expedited Traveler Initiative (Global Entry program) in order to facilitate closer business and educational ties between the citizens of India and the United States.
During this visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US, President Trump also accepted Prime Minister Modi’s invitation to visit India.
When: 26 June 2017