Washington: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, India and the US have agreed to work together to achieve concrete results in key areas including defence, trade and investment and civil nuclear energy.
They have also agreed to deepen their collaboration against Pakistan-based terror groups Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), responsible for several terrorist attacks in India and other terrorist threats.
The agreements were reached during Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar’s just ended four-day visit to Washington to review India-US bilateral relations and to prepare for India’s participation at the March 31-April 1 Nuclear Security Summit (NSS).
Modi is expected to have a bilateral meeting with President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the 50-nation summit. There is also widespread speculation that he may also meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, who too has been invited to the NSS.
Jaishankar’s meetings in Washington “focussed on further consolidating bilateral relations in the year ahead and enhancing convergence on regional and global issues”, according to an Indian embassy press release.
“In this context, both sides agreed to work for achieving concrete results in key areas of bilateral cooperation including defence, trade and investment and civil nuclear energy,” it said.
During a meeting with US National Security Advisor Susan Rice at the White House here on Tuesday, the two agreed to deepen their already close collaboration against Lashkar-e-Taeba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and other terrorist threats.
While LeT is held responsible for the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, JeM is blamed for the January 2 attack on the Indian Air Force station at Pathankot.
Rice and Jaishankar also “affirmed their commitment to deepening bilateral cooperation on climate change, trade and defence,” according to a statement by National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Ned Price.
“They also discussed US-India collaboration against Lashkar-e-Taeba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and other terrorist threats,” it said.
“Building on their leaders’ commitment to make the US-India partnership a defining relationship for the 21st century, they agreed to deepen their already close collaboration on these issues.”
Apart from Rice, Jaishankar also had meetings with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, US Trade Representative Mike Froman, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon, Under Secretary of State Rose Gotteemoeller as well as other senior officials.
In the US Congress, he had meetings with Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee Senator John McCain and Chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Richard Burr to exchange views on bilateral, regional and international issues.