Prime Minister’s Statement to the Media at the joint Press Conference with the U.S. President
Following is the text of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s statement to the media at the joint Press Conference with U.S. President Barack Obama in New Delhi today:
“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.”