New Delhi: In what can be seen as a high note on which President Barack Obama’s maiden visit concluded on Monday, the joint statement on the Manmohan-Obama talks earlier in the day announced that India and the US will partner each other for global security at the United Nations Security Council.
The statement, issued after President Obama’s grand dinner at Rashtrapati Bhavan hosted by President Pratibha Patil, said the former will work with PM Manmohan Singh for a stable world. The contours of this arrangement are yet to be worked out.
In an acknowledgement to India’s expanding role in Asia, the US will consult it on strategic issues vis-à-vis East Asia, including on China.
Importantly, the statement called on Pakistan to bring all perpetrators of the ghastly Mumbai attacks of 2008 to justice. Addressing India’s concern, it also sought the destruction of all terror groups including the Pak-based Laskar-e-Tayyeba.
In a victory of Indian efforts, the joint statement said US and India will work jointly for a stable Afghanistan.
The statement also touched upon the issue of nuclear proliferation. While India reaffirmed its voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing, the statement declared both countries would work to strengthen norms for non-use of nuclear weapons.
The statement was issued after PM Singh and President Obama held bilateral talks on issues of mutual concern including defence deals and counter terrorism. Both the leaders first held restricted talks at the Hyderabad house, which were followed by delegation-level talks.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao were present with the Prime Minister at the restricted meeting with Obama. Later, other senior ministers including P Chidambaram, Sharad Pawar, A K Antony and other officials joined the delegation-level talks.
During the talks, as per reports, the Indian side sought answers from the US delegation on its core concern regarding terrorism emanating from Pakistan aimed at India.
Later, when President Obama addressed the Parliament, he declared US support to India’s permanent seat at the UNSC, apart from emphasizing that India-US partnership was indispensable for the 21st Century.