Joint Statement on the Fifth India-U.S. Strategic Dialogue

Below is a joint statement issued by the United States and India on July 31, 2014 in New Delhi.

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External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj and Secretary of State John F. Kerry led their respective delegations to the fifth annual India-U.S. Strategic Dialogue.

The two sides recognized that the decisive mandate provided by the Indian people to their new Government provided a unique opportunity to re-energize this relationship. They expressed confidence that the Summit Meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama in Washington D.C. in September 2014 would generate new dynamism in the relationship.

The two sides welcomed the participation of Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman in the Strategic Dialogue and the productive discussions they held on bilateral trade and economic issues in their inaugural meeting. They looked forward to the visit of U.S. Defense Secretary Hagel in August 2014 to deepen discussions on military exercises, defense trade, co-production and co­development, and research on new technologies for defense, in keeping with the Summit-level Joint Declaration on Defense Cooperation issued in September 2013.

Faced by a common threat from terrorism, including in South Asia, the two leaders committed to intensify efforts to combat terrorism, proliferation of WMDs, nuclear terrorism, cross-border crime, and address the misuse of the internet for terrorist purposes, in compliance with respective laws. The two leaders welcomed the continuation of the Counter-Terrorism Joint Working Group process, sustained exchanges of senior experts, and the upcoming meeting of the Working Group in 2014. They also welcomed plans to hold the next Ministerial Homeland Security Dialogue. They agreed to have their Central Authorities meet to discuss ways to improve mutual legal assistance and extradition processes. They also agreed to work towards greater cooperation in cyber security and reducing cybercrime.

The two leaders reviewed efforts since November 2010 toward India’s phased entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group. Secretary Kerry reaffirmed the United States’ support for India’s membership in these groups and welcomed India’s recent decision to ratify its Additional Protocol with the IAEA. The two leaders supported an early conclusion to these efforts.

Secretary Kerry welcomed raised foreign investment ceilings in several sectors of the Indian economy, including defense, railways, e-commerce and insurance. The two sides agreed to identify specific areas for investment in India’s manufacturing and infrastructure sectors including through establishing a new initiative in this regard. They also sought to empower the India-U.S. CEO Forum to build a better business environment.

Minister Swaraj and Secretary Kerry resolved to discuss bilateral trade and economic concerns in a spirit of partnership, including at the Ministerial Trade Policy Forum in India that both governments hope to convene in Fall 2014, focusing on key trade and investment issues. The two sides plan to expand the Commercial Dialogue. They also agreed that India would host the next round of the High Technology Cooperation Group on mutually convenient dates this year.

Minister Swaraj welcomed the United States as a partner country, for the first time, at India’s annual Technology Summit in November 2014. The leaders looked forward to the convening of the next bilateral Joint Science & Technology Committee meeting immediately preceding that event. Secretary Kerry welcomed India’s commitment to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) including in the areas of anti-microbial resistance and immunization.

The Leaders welcomed work under the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) in its Research and Deployment components. They reviewed the new initiative on Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) in bringing Indian citizens in rural areas access to off-grid sources of clean energy. They welcomed outcomes facilitated by the Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre in solar technologies, second generation biofuels and energy efficient buildings. They also intend to scale-up existing initiatives on space cooling, to reduce demand for power for air-conditioning.

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the India­U.S. civil nuclear agreement. They welcomed the Authorization to Proceed provided to Westinghouse to implement the pre-Early Works Agreement with NPCIL as of September 2013.Both sides urged NPCIL and U.S. companies Westinghouse and General Electric-Hitachi to expedite the necessary work to conclude pricing and contractual details. They looked forward to advancing the government-to-government dialogue and facilitating the establishment of U.S.-built nuclear power plants in India.

The leaders also welcomed progress in the bilateral dialogue on nuclear safety, nuclear security regulatory processes, the establishment of India’s Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP), and projects in fundamental physics. They urged expedited agreements and arrangements to facilitate Indian participation in the High Intensity Superconducting Proton Accelerator Project, the Thirty Meter Telescope, Monsoon studies, and Joint Oceanic surveys. The leaders appreciated India joining the Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) program of the U.S. National Science Foundation, which will facilitate support for high-quality research projects across identified disciplines.

The Minister and the Secretary welcomed civil space cooperation between India and the United States in Earth Observation, Space Exploration and Satellite Navigation. New focus areas could include joint realization of dual frequency microwave satellite for earth observation and launch services. Both sides plan to continue discussions on space security in 2014, to include areas of mutual interest such as space situational awareness and collision avoidance.

The two sides identified education and skills development as an important area of future cooperation. They called for partnerships between Indian and U.S. testing services institutions to improve nation-wide student assessments in India.

Minister Swaraj and Secretary Kerry recognized that a truly strategic India-U.S. partnership was a significant contributor to regional peace, stability and prosperity in the South Asian region, Asia, and globally. They reaffirmed their commitment to jointly support other partner countries, including through capacity-building in Afghanistan, agriculture management projects in Kenya, Liberia and Malawi, and Open Government Platforms in Rwanda and Ghana. They emphasized the need for India, the United States and Japan to work together to build transport and trade connectivity between South Asia and ASEAN, via Myanmar, including by developing economic corridors.

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work towards a successful outcome in Paris in 2015 of the work of the Ad-hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The two sides convened the first round of bilateral consultations under the India-U.S. Joint Working Group on Climate Change, continuing their enhanced dialogue on an ambitious climate change agreement for the post-2020 period, and strengthening bilateral efforts in the areas of clean technology, smart grid, energy efficiency, adaptation strategies, sustainable forestry and REDD+ issues.

Minister Swaraj and Secretary Kerry reaffirmed their commitment to ensure that the United Nations Security Council continues to effectively play its role in maintaining international peace and security as envisioned in the UN Charter. Secretary Kerry reaffirmed that the United States looks forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member. The two leaders intend to upgrade the existing dialogue on Peacekeeping into a broader dialogue on UN issues, the first round of which India offered to host prior to the UN General Assembly session in September.

The two leaders reaffirmed their support for a unified, independent and sovereign Afghanistan. They expressed admiration for the determination of the Afghan people to exercise their democratic right to vote despite the significant threat from terrorist elements. They welcomed the efforts of the two Presidential candidates, and all Afghan institutions involved in the current electoral process to work together with the United Nations to ensure the timely completion of the ongoing process, so that the elections are a source of unity and strength for the country and a source of stability for the region. Both sides agreed to continue their engagement with Afghanistan on this issue.

Minister Swaraj and Secretary Kerry reiterated their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and reaffirmed their commitment to eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, and disrupting terrorist networks including Al-Qa’ida and the Lashkar-e-Taiba. The leaders called for Pakistan to work toward bringing the perpetrators of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks to justice.

The leaders reiterated their deep concern at the current situation in Iraq, which posed a direct threat to the security of the people and the territorial integrity of Iraq. They affirmed that they attached the highest priority to the security and safety of their respective nationals in Iraq. They stood by the people of Iraq in their fight against international terrorism and their efforts to preserve Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity, recognizing that a stable, peaceful, united and democratic Iraq is in the interest of regional and global peace and security.

Both sides expressed concern at the steep escalation of violence in Gaza and Israel, resulting in the loss of numerous civilian lives and damage to property. They called upon both sides to exercise maximum restraint and expressed hope that necessary conditions will be created for a sustainable ceasefire and the early resumption of peace talks, towards a comprehensive resolution of the Middle East issue. They also expressed deep concern at the continuing violence and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria, which impacts significantly on the security and stability of the region. The leaders reiterated the importance of a Syrian-led comprehensive political solution to the crisis, in alignment with the Geneva Communique of 2012. They urged all parties to demonstrate the requisite political will, exercise restraint and commit to seeking common ground in accommodating their differences.

The two leaders encouraged Departments and Ministries on both sides to continue to evolve ambitious plans to further the partnership. Secretary Kerry thanked Minister Swaraj for hosting the fifth Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi. They agreed to convene the next round in the United States in 2015.