Secretary Kerry’s India Visit Furthers Bilateral Cooperation

By Arshdeep Sarao, Epoch Times
June 24, 2013 9:22 pm Last Updated: June 25, 2013 7:53 am

India and the U.S. reviewed their bilateral relations and identified key sectors of cooperation to further the partnership, during the fourth India-US Strategic Dialogue on June 24, in New Delhi.

The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in India on a three-day visit from June 23–25. In the meeting, both countries discussed on diverse issues ranging from the status of civil nuclear ties to maritime security, and education.

“Today, we are expanding our bilateral cooperation to new horizons, such as energy, while intensifying existing avenues of cooperation in health, science and technology, education, space, defense, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” said Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in his press statement, following the the fourth India-US Strategic Dialogue.

“We are delighted to be developing an increasingly global dimension to the India-US strategic partnership,” he said.

Reaffirming their shared vision for peace and stability in Asia, and in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the two nations discussed the importance of maritime security, freedom of navigation, and the peaceful resolution of maritime disputes in accordance with international law.

The two delegations also discussed the critical importance of energy to sustaining economic growth and securing prosperity, and acknowledged the robust and full range of cooperation under the India-US Energy Dialogue.

The world’s two largest democracies welcomed an agreement by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the NASA to further cooperative space exploration work, including future missions to the moon and Mars. They also applauded the announcement of NASA’s support through its Deep Space Network facilities to ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission.

The joint press statement said that Minister Khurshid and Secretary Kerry reviewed the progress on cooperation on particle physics and expressed the desire to finalize an agreement by the end of this summer. They also committed to encouraging the conclusion of talks between the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Indian Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) on a bilateral information exchange arrangement, by fall 2013.

They underlined the importance of developing further partnerships between U.S. and Indian educational institutions, and welcomed the initiative to establish community colleges in India. Khurshid appreciated that the U.S. Secretary has highlighted the significance of innovation and education as pillars of the strategic relationship.

“I want to particularly thank him for this, as there has otherwise been too little said about these very vital aspects of our partnership which exercise an important impact on the lives of our people,” he said.

To enhance people-to-people connectivity, the two leaders welcomed the creation of new student programs, such as India’s “Connect India” program and the U.S. “Passport to India” initiative. Cooperation in education supports economic growth in both countries and fosters the innovation and entrepreneurship both nations need to advance together in the 21st century.

While welcoming the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference in June 2012, the two sides reaffirmed that eradication of poverty is at the heart of the global sustainable development agenda.

A number of other important visits and dialogue processes are scheduled over the next several months, including the Ministerial Energy Dialogue and the CEO’s Forum, both of which are coordinated on our side by Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.