Monday, November 8

President Obama's visit to India, Day 3: Signed Accords, Singh-Obama Joint Press Conference, White House statement US-India initiatives

(Photo: Reuters/Jason Reed)


From AFP via The Times of India, here is a list of the six accords signed by The United States of America and India:
- India-US agreement to set up a joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre. It will be backed by 50 million dollars by both sides over five years and work to complete joint research in solar, biofuels and energy efficiency.

- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership. US will cooperate in India's plans for a nuclear centre, to promote nuclear security and address threats of nuclear terrorism.

- MOU to establish an India-US Energy Cooperation Programme. It will mobilise private sector expertise and resources to address clean energy-related issues in India and the US.

- Agreement on technical cooperation to study India's annual monsoon rains. Cooperation on weather forecasting for India's crucial annual monsoon.

- MOU between India and the US on shale gas resources which will see US technology used to assess shale gas resources in India.

- MOU on establishing and operating a Global Disease Detection Centre in India, which will set up a laboratory in New Delhi designed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Transcripts, Joint Press Conference, New Delhi, Nov 8

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remarks

(The Times of India)

I am delighted to welcome President Obama on his first visit to India.

I welcome the President as a personal friend and a charismatic leader who has made a deep imprint on world affairs through his inclusive vision of peace, security and welfare for all peoples and all nations. The President and the First Lady have made an abiding impression on the people of India, with their warmth, with their grace and with their commitment to promoting relationships between our two great democracies.

President Obama yesterday characterized the India-US partnership as one of the defining and indispensable partnerships of the 21st century. In my discussions with the President, we have decided to accelerate the deepening of our ties and to work as equal partners in a strategic relationship that will positively and decisively influence world peace, stability and progress.

We welcome the decision by the United States to lift controls on export of high technology items and technologies to India, and support India's membership in multilateral export control regimes such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group. This is a manifestation of the growing trust and confidence in each other. We have agreed on steps to expand our cooperation in the space, civil nuclear, defence and other high end sectors.

We have announced specific initiatives in the areas of clean energy, health and agriculture. These include a Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre, the establishment of a Global Disease Detection Centre in India and an agreement for cooperation in weather and crop forecasting. We have decided to hold a Higher Education Summit next year. Cooperation in the field of education sector holds great promise because no two other countries are better equipped to be partners in building the knowledge economy of the future.

The United States is one of our largest trading partners. Our trade is balanced and growing. India is among the fastest growing sources of investment in the United States. Indian investments have helped to increase the competitiveness of the US economy. We welcome increased US investment and high technology flows in key sectors of our economy, including the sector of nuclear energy. We have agreed to facilitate trade and people-to-people exchanges, recognizing that protectionism is detrimental to both our economies.

I conveyed our gratitude to the President for the cooperation we have received in our counter-terrorism measures post Mumbai. We will start a new Homeland Security Dialogue to deepen this cooperation.

We had a detailed exchange on the situation in our extended region, including East Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and West Asia. We have a shared vision of security, stability and prosperity in Asia based on an open and inclusive regional architecture. We have agreed to broaden our strategic dialogue to cover other regions and areas, and initiate joint projects in Africa and Afghanistan.

As States possessing nuclear weapons, we have today put forth a common vision of a world without nuclear weapons, and decided to lead global efforts for non-proliferation and universal and non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament. This is a historic and bold bilateral initiative. We have also decided to strengthen cooperation to tackle nuclear terrorism, and we welcome US participation in the Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership which will be set up in India.

President Obama is a sincere and valued friend of our country and our discussions have led to a meeting of minds. Ours is a partnership based on common values and interests, a shared vision of the world and the deep rooted ties of friendship among our two peoples. I look forward to working with the President to realize the enormous potential of this partnership of our two countries.

I now invite President Obama to make his remarks.

President Barack Obama's remarks
(Wall Street Journal)

Thank you Prime Minister Singh and good afternoon everyone. I want to begin by saying how thrilled my wife Michelle and I and our entire delegation are to be here in India. We have been received with incredible warmth and incredible hospitality and that includes the hospitality of our friends, Prime Minister Singh and his lovely wife, Mrs. Kaur, who we thank for such graciousness and a wonderful dinner last night.

As I’ve said throughout my visit, I’ve come to India because I believe that the relationship between the United States and India is indispensable to addressing the challenges of our time. From creating the economic opportunity for our people, to confronting terrorism and violent extremism, from preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to addressing climate change and the development that gives people and nations a path out of poverty, to advancing human rights and the values that our universal, none of this will be possible without strong cooperation between the United States and India.

Moreover as Prime Minister Singh alluded to, ours is no ordinary relationship. As the world’s two largest democracies, as large and growing free-market economies, as diverse multiethnic societies with strong traditions of pluralism and tolerance, we have not only an opportunity but also a responsibility to lead. That’s why I believe the relationship between the United States and India will in fact be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.

That’s why I’ve worked with the Prime Minister, a man of extraordinary intellect and great integrity, to broaden and deepen cooperation between our countries. And I very much look forward to addressing the Indian parliament and the people of India later today to discuss how the United States and India can take our partnership to the next level with a vision of how we can work together as global partners. With the progress we’ve made today we’re seeing just how broad and deep our cooperation can be. As president I’ve had the opportunity to appear with many of my foreign counterparts at press conferences such as this but I cannot remember an occasion when we have agreed to so many new partnerships across so many new areas as we have during my visit.

We have expanded trade and investment to create prosperity for our people. The major trade deals that were signed in Mumbai were an important step forward in elevating India to one of America’s top trading partners. Today I’m pleased to welcome India’s preliminary agreement to purchase 10 C-17 cargo planes, which will enhance Indian capabilities and support 22,000 jobs back in the United States.

We agreed to reform our controls on exports and the United States will remove Indian organizations from the so-called entity list, which will allow greater cooperation in a range of high-tech sectors like civil space and defence. And we have agreed to keep working to reduce trade barriers and resist protectionism.

As a result of this visit we are already beginning to implement our civil nuclear agreement. We agreed to deepen our cooperation and pursuit of clean energy technologies, and this includes the creation of a new clean energy research center here in India and continuing our joint research into solar, biofuels, shale gas and building efficiency. And we agreed to new partnerships, including forestry and sustainable development of land to help meet the commitments we made at Copenhagen to combat climate change.

To ensure the safety of our citizens, we are deepening our efforts to prevent terrorism. Cooperation between our countries’ intelligence and law enforcement communities has already reached unprecedented levels. Today we’re taking another step, a new effort between our Department of Homeland Security and the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs to improve security at our ports, our airports and our borders.

I also discussed with the Prime Minister our efforts in Afghanistan and once again thanked him and the Indian people for the generous contributions that India has made towards development and improving the lives of the Afghan people. We agreed on the need for all nations in the region to work together to ensure there are no safe havens for terrorists.

We’re expanding our efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation. In keeping with its commitment at our nuclear security summit, India will build a new center of excellence for nuclear energy and security to help reach our goal of securing vulnerable nuclear materials in four years.

Given India’s growing role in the region, we also agreed to deepen our consultations on East Asia. Given India’s growing role on the world stage, we’ll expand our dialogue on global issues. And we discussed the need for international institutions, including the United Nations, to address the realities of the 21st century, which I will discuss further in my address to Parliament.

Finally we continue to expand partnerships between our peoples. To promote global health we’re moving ahead with a new disease detection center here in New Delhi. Building on our successful efforts to expand educational exchanges, including our Singh-Obama 21st Century Knowledge Initiative, we’ll convene a summit to forge new collaborations in higher education.

And we’re announcing two initiatives today that harness technology to deliver progress to our people. Building on the Indian and American agricultural collaboration that led to the Green Revolution, we’re launching a new partnership for an ‘Evergreen’ Revolution to improve food security around the world. We’re also launching a new partnership to promote open government and to empower citizens. And in my address to Parliament I’ll be discussing why these efforts can be models for the kind of cooperation that not only benefits America and India but benefits other nations as well.

So taken together, all of these partnerships, all of these initiatives make it clear: the relationship between the United States and India is stronger, deeper and broader than ever before.

So Mr. Prime Minister, again I thank you for your partnership and for your friendship. I am confident that as India’s influence in the world continues to rise, so too will the opportunities for even greater cooperation between our two countries. And that will mean even greater security and prosperity for India, for the United States, for this region, and for the world.

Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister.

White House Press Release, Nov 8, on U.S.-India cooperation
(Via Wall Street Journal with introductory commentary by WSJ reporter Paul Beckett)
White House Release on the New U.S.-India Parameters

U.S. President Barack Obama has said he wants the U.S.-India partnership to rise to the next level. The White House Monday issued a release that gives some contours to the new relationship as Mr. Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh see it, with a bevy of new initiatives and a focus on business and economic ties.

There appear to be two things that the U.S. wanted that are noticeably absent, however: Reform of India’s foreign direct investment regime that would permit broader access for U.S. companies to India’s markets, especially retail; and a breakthrough on making operational the U.S.-India nuclear agreement, which both sides have signed but which remains bogged down in legalese.

Office of the Press Secretary

U.S. & India: the Indispensable Partnership
The U.S.-India partnership is indispensable to addressing the challenges of our times. This strategic relationship encompasses a range of issues, activities, and programs that reflect the vision of President Obama and Prime Minister Singh that benefits not only the people of the United States and India but the world as a whole.

Export Controls
Prime Minister Singh and President Obama committed to work together to strengthen the global non-proliferation and export control framework and further transform our bilateral export control cooperation to realize the full potential of the strategic partnership between the two countries. The two leaders agreed to take mutual steps to implement a four-part export control reform program, including: support for India’s membership in the multilateral export control regimes, removing India’s Defense and Space-Related Entities from the U.S. “Entity List;” export licensing policy realignment, and export control cooperation.

Partnership for an Evergreen Revolution
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama agreed to work together to develop, test, and replicate transformative technologies to extend food security in India as part of an “Evergreen Revolution.” These efforts build on the historic legacy of cooperation between the United States and India during the Green Revolution, and will benefit farmers and consumers in India, the United States, and around the globe, and will extend food security in India, Africa and globally. The Partnership for an Evergreen Revolution will contribute to achieving the objectives of the U.S. global development policy, which places a premium on broad-based economic growth as the foundation for sustainable development, and the bilateral U.S. Feed the Future Initiative, which focuses on creating a foundation for sustainable economic growth by helping countries accelerate inclusive agriculture sector growth through improved agricultural productivity, expanded markets and trade, and increased economic resilience in vulnerable rural communities.

Counterterrorism Cooperation
Since the first bilateral discussions on counterterrorism in 2000, counterterrorism cooperation has become a pillar of the U.S.-India relationship. In the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the U.S. and India resolved to deepen collaborative efforts, and intensify exchanges, culminating in the signing of the Counterterrorism Cooperation Initiative (CCI) in July 2010. This landmark agreement made clear the determination of our two governments to combine efforts to combat terrorism and to work closely to ensure the security of our citizens. Programs to exchange law enforcement best practices, hold reciprocal visits of senior-level officials to discuss lessons learned, conduct joint military training exercises, and joining of forces in international fora on key counterterrorism issues, demonstrate the closeness of this cooperation.

Civil Space Cooperation
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to scale-up joint U.S.-India civil space collaboration, including space exploration, earth observation, and scientific education.

Clean Energy and Climate Change
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama reaffirmed their countries’ strong commitment to taking vigorous action to address climate change, ensure mutual energy security, and build a clean energy economy that will drive investment, job creation, and economic growth throughout the 21st century. The Leaders strengthened U.S.-India cooperation on energy and climate change through the following initiatives, including a number of joint research and development projects, public-private partnerships, and major commercial sales of renewable energy technologies.

The U.S. and India recognize the importance of cybersecurity and its growing role in world prosperity, commerce, and culture. Accordingly, the U.S. and India are advancing efforts to work together to promote a reliable information and communications infrastructure and the goal of free, fair, and secure access to cyberspace.

CEO Forum
Recognizing the vital role bilateral commerce plays in the global strategic partnership, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh highlighted the importance of the U.S.-India CEO Forum and the progress made in implementing its recommendations. The U.S. and Indian governments addressed recommendations in the areas of clean energy, infrastructure, education, and export controls.

Defense Cooperation
The U.S.-India defense relationship has grown from solely military-to-military links into a mature partnership that encompasses dialogues, exercises, defense sales, professional military education exchanges, and practical cooperation. The leaders reaffirmed the importance of maritime security, unimpeded commerce, and freedom of navigation, in accordance with relevant universally agreed principles of international law.

U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership
Since U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner traveled to Delhi in April 2010 to launch the new U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership with Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the two governments have institutionalized deeper bilateral relations on economic and financial sector issues. These efforts include a macroeconomic dialogue and financial sector and infrastructure working groups.

President Obama and Prime Minister Singh are committed to an expanding, dynamic, and comprehensive education partnership, including expanding academic exchanges, developing university and school linkages, and holding a U.S.-India Education Summit.

Entrepreneurs Roundtable
This event introduced the President to the next generation of Indian entrepreneurs and showcased innovative partnerships between U.S. and Indian businesses that are creating new markets for U.S.-manufactured technologies. These entrepreneurs represent some of India’s most thoughtful and articulate minds on the major challenges facing India today and showcase the promise of the country’s dynamic, private sector-led inclusive growth. Their innovative business solutions are helping address some of India’s most vexing challenges – such as clean water, power, health care, education – while creating new markets for their U.S. technology partners.

The National Export Initiative
As part of the National Export Initiative, President Obama noted that India — with its tremendous economic growth and its large and growing middle class — is a key market for U.S. exports. These involve some of our country’s largest companies, but also an increasing number of small and medium-sized enterprises. On the margins of the President’s trip, trade transactions were announced or showcased, exceeding $14.9 billion in total value with $9.5 billion in U.S. export content, supporting an estimated 53,670 U.S. jobs. These cross-border collaborations, both public and private, underpin the expanding U.S.-India strategic partnership, contributing to economic growth and development in both countries.

Indian Investment in the U.S.
The United States is the world’s largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). India is among the fastest growing investor in the United States. As the U.S.-India economic relationship deepens, investment from India contribute to the growth and vibrancy of the American economy and in the creation of jobs in the United States. Over the last decade, investment capital from India grew at an annualized rate of 53% reaching an estimated $4.4 billion in 2009. This growing flow of capital from India reflects the increased integration of the two economies and has brought many benefits to the United States, increasing U.S. exports and supporting tens of thousands of jobs in the last six years alone.

Nuclear Security
The United States and India signed a memorandum of understanding that provides a general framework for cooperative activities in working with India’s Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, which India announced at the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit. In working with India’s Centre, the United States will give priority to discussion of best practices on the security of nuclear material and facilities, development of international nuclear security training curricula and programs, joint outreach on security issues to their respective nuclear industries, and cooperation on other nuclear security activities as mutually determined.

Deepening U.S.-India Strategic Ties
Prime Minister Singh and President Obama renewed their commitment to expand cooperation on strategic issues facing the United States and India and agreed to deepen and broaden strategic consultations on core foreign policy issues of mutual concern. Such consultations reinforce Prime Minister Singh’s and President Obama’s vision of transforming the U.S.-India relationship into a true global partnership that reflects the extensive and growing strategic ties between our two countries.

U.S.-India Development Collaboration in Afghanistan
President Obama and Prime Minister Singh agreed to collaborate closely to assist the people of Afghanistan by identifying opportunities to leverage our relative strengths, experience and resources. Our collaboration will focus on agricultural development and women’s empowerment, where Afghanistan’s needs are great.

Securing the Air, Sea, and Space Domains
President Obama and Prime Minister Singh agreed that in an increasingly interconnected world, it is vital to safeguard areas of the sea, air, and space beyond national jurisdiction to ensure the security and prosperity of nations. The United States and India have launched a dialogue to explore ways to work together, as well as with other countries, to develop a shared vision to protect peace, security, and development of these areas.

November 8, 2010

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