Obama-Singh Meeting Forges Stronger Indo-US Ties

By Arshdeep Sarao, Epoch Times
September 28, 2013 11:59 am Last Updated: September 30, 2013 4:14 pm

Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh met the U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday to discuss crucial issues of regional security, bilateral trade, and the civil nuclear cooperation deal.

India and America are working together to give our cooperation a new sense of commitment, widening and deepening it in diverse directions. We are cooperating in expanding the frontiers of trade, investment in technology,” Singh said in a joint appearance with Obama in the Oval Office after the meeting.

In their joint statement, the Leaders called for expanding security cooperation between the United States and India to address 21st century challenges in the areas of counter-terrorism, cyber, space, and global health security.

Affirming their deep concern over the continuing threat posed by terrorism, the two leaders stressed the need for joint and concerted effort, including dismantling of terrorist safe havens, and disrupting all financial and tactical support for terrorism.

The two leaders strongly condemned the September 26 terrorist attack in Samba in Jammu and Kashmir and also called for Pakistan to work toward bringing the perpetrators of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks to justice.

Singh asserted that the epicenter of terrorism remains in Pakistan and said that he is looking forward to meet President Nawaz Sharif, even though the expectations have to be toned down given the terror arm which is still active in the subcontinent.

In the civil nuclear power sector, both sides reaffirm their commitment to the full and timely implementation of the civil nuclear cooperation agreement.

According to the fact sheet released by the White House’s official website, the Indo-US defense trade has reached nearly $9 billion, and both governments are committed to reduce impediments, ease commercial transactions, and pursue co-production and co-development opportunities to expand this relationship.

Reflecting on the Indo-US relations during the last decade, the leaders affirmed that the partnership between the two democratic nations is stronger today than at any point in their 67-year history. Prime Minister Singh and President Obama pledged to make the next decade equally as transformative, challenging their governments to reach the full potential of this partnership in the areas of security cooperation, bilateral trade and investment, energy and environment, higher education, and global architecture.

The Indian prime minister appreciated Obama’s outstanding contribution to strengthen, widen, and deepen the cooperation in diverse fields. While Obama said that both countries have made sure that their government-to-government cooperation matches the great affection and affinity that exists between the Indian and American peoples.

“We believe that if there’s a strong India that that’s good for the world and it’s ultimately good for the United States of America,” Obama said.

The meeting between Obama and Singh took place at the time when the close partnership between the US and India seemed to have stagnated.

However, after the third summit meeting that concluded on Friday, the two countries have crossed a threshold in their relations where both recognize that successes at home and abroad are further advanced by their cooperation.