Clinton, Krishna pledge to deepen Indo-US relationship

India and the US concluded their first Cabinet-level Strategic Dialogue on Thursday, pledging to deepen ties between the world`s oldest and largest democracies for mutual benefit and global stability.

Washington: India and the US concluded their first Cabinet-level Strategic Dialogue on Thursday, pledging to deepen ties between the world`s oldest and largest democracies
for mutual benefit and global stability while committing to work to strengthen global legal regimes against terrorism.

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and External Affairs Minister SM Krishna pledged to deepen people-to-people, business-to-business, and government-to-government linkages
between the world`s oldest and largest democracies, for the mutual benefit of both countries and for the promotion of global peace, stability, economic growth and prosperity.

Both recalled that the Indo-US partnership rests on the firm foundation of common ideals as well as security and economic interests", a joint statement issued after the conclusion of the talks said.

"The guiding principles upon which both nations were founded - democracy, mutual respect, individual liberty, rule of law, and an appreciation for the strength we derive from being pluralistic societies - make the Indo-US bond strong, resilient, and uniquely important for building a peaceful, prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable world," it said.

"They pledged that as strategic partners, India and US would continue to consult each other closely on regional and global developments, and remain sensitive to each other`s

They confirmed that global institutions of governance should reflect contemporary realities and enhance effectiveness, in order to meet the challenges of the new century," the statement said.

"In addition to advancing global security and stability, both recognised that the two countries had enormous opportunities to deepen their cooperation in trade and
investment, science and technology, infrastructure investment, environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation, energy security, education, agriculture, food
security, healthcare and empowerment of people," it said.

The two leaders emphasised that the Strategic Dialogue and its detailed architecture is a vital instrument to pursue these goals, the statement said.

The Strategic Dialogue was co-chaired by Clinton and Krishna.

"Minister Krishna and Secretary Clinton reiterated their shared goal of advancing security and stability across Asia, in particular, through the emergence of an open, balanced and
inclusive architecture of cooperation in the region," the statement said.

Reiterating their shared interest and commitment to a stable, sovereign, democratic and pluralistic Afghanistan, Krishna and Clinton emphasised the importance of a sustained
international commitment to Afghanistan that builds local capacities through Afghan-led initiatives.

The two leaders expressed grave concern over recent incidents in the US and India that remind that terrorism and violent extremism know no boundaries and continue to threat
global, regional, and domestic security.

Recognising the importance of continued cooperation in efforts to defeat terrorism, they reaffirmed the critical principle that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism in
any form.

"They called for swift and credible steps to eliminate terrorist safe havens and vowed to strengthen global consensus and legal regimes against terrorism, including by working together at the UN toward adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that strengthens our efforts in combating terrorism," the statement said.

"Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna expressed their shared view that the Indo-US Strategic Dialogue and the bilateral mechanisms therein provide an important platform for strengthening the US-India partnership, offering a strategic vision for enhanced future cooperation," the statement said.

"The US and Indian delegations look forward to further discussions on specific matters raised at the Dialogue through expanded high-level official engagement, working groups, and existing bilateral dialogues," it said.

Acknowledging the positive contribution of cooperation in education and science and technology to bilateral relations, the joint statement said: "They noted the enormous potential for enhancing academic exchanges and collaboration, including through participation of US universities in India, in the context of the ongoing reforms and expansion of the higher education and professional training sectors in India.

"Clinton welcomed India`s announcement of establishing a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership with focus on advanced nuclear energy systems, nuclear security,
radiological safety and applications of radio isotopes and radiation technologies and appreciated India`s intent to welcome participation by international partner countries and
IAEA in the work of the Centre.

"They also committed to continue working together to achieve an early start of negotiations on a multilateral, non-discriminatory and internationally and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty at the Conference on Disarmament," the statement said.

According to the joint statement, they called for a balanced and ambitious conclusion to the Doha Development Round, consistent with its mandate.

As members of the G20, they agreed to advance the G20 understandings including with regard to energy security and resisting protectionism in all its forms.

Krishna and Clinton noted that both Governments have taken steps to strengthen their bilateral engagement and understanding in three broad areas - macroeconomic policy,
financial sector, and infrastructure financing - through the launch of a new Economic and Financial Partnership` between India`s Ministry of Finance and the Department of the Treasury in April 2010.

"The partnership is intended to help both countries to promote strong, sustainable, and balanced growth, as well as share experiences on infrastructure financing and financial
sector regulation," it said.

Noting that US and India have taken crucial steps towards full implementation of civil nuclear cooperation, the two leaders reiterated that nuclear energy can make a significant
contribution to building a sustainable and clean energy future.

They highlighted the Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation Action Plan recently signed by the two countries.

"They resolved to continue to look for innovative ways to work together to promote agricultural development and reduce rural poverty, promote global food security, and improve weather prediction and crop forecasting capabilities for agricultural purposes in order to improve livelihoods in the rural sectors.

They also pledged to work together to improve the
farm to market supply chain, food processing, and agricultural
extension programs," the joint statement said.

Reviewing the progress on the collaborative effort to
establish a Regional Global Disease Detection Centre in
India, Krishna and Clinton acknowledged that the Health
Dialogue would provide a framework to discuss ways to
accelerate bilateral cooperation and collaborations, including
exchanging views on extending affordable healthcare to all
sections of the population and to continuing education and
training for health care practitioners at all levels of

"Both governments pledged to enhance bilateral
collaboration in controlling and preventing diseases, assuring
food and medical product safety, and increasing biomedical and
translational research and development with the goal of
identifying new and effective methods of medical treatment and
ensuring equitable access of such outcomes to the citizens of
both the countries," it said.

Besides Krishna other members of the Indian
delegation included the Union Human Resources Development
Minister, Kapil Sibal; the Deputy Chairman of the Planning
Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia; the Minister of State for
Science and Technology, Prithviraj Chauhan, the Foreign
Secretary, Nirupama Rao; UK Bansal, Special Secretary for
Internal Security; the Environment Secretary, Vijai Sharma;
and the Indian Ambassador to the US, Meera Shankar.

The US delegation led by Clinton included the Energy
Secretary, Steven Chu; the Under Secretary of State for
Political Affairs, Bill Burns; the US Ambassador to India, Tim
Roemer; the Deputy National Security Advisor, Michale Froman;
Dr John Holdren, Director, Office of Science and Technology
Policy and Assistant to the US President for Science and
technology; the US Climate Change Envoy Todd Stern; the
Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia,
Robert Blake; the FBI Director Robert Mueller; the Under
Secretary of Defense, Michele Flournoy; and the NASA
Administrator Charles Bolden.