Modi, Obama summit
->Decide to disrupt financial, tactical support to terror outfits
WASHINGTON: Furthering Indo-US cooperation on terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama today agreed to make “joint and concerted efforts” to dismantle safe havens for terror and criminal networks like LeT, JeM, D-company, Al-Qaeda and Haqqani network.
In their first Summit meeting spread over two hours at the White House, the two leaders also agreed that the both countries will take steps to disrupt financial and tactical support to these terror outfits.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama on Tuesday pledged to push the bilateral relationship to “new levels”, resolve issues blocking implementation of the civil nuclear deal and cooperate in counter terrorism.
During their hour-long discussions, which covered a broad range of issues including economic cooperation, trade and investment, Modi raised the demand for easier access to Indian services in the US.
After the two countries reached an agreement on extending their defence cooperation for ten more years, the Prime Minister invited American companies to participate in Indian defence manufacturing sector.
The discussions and the first formal meeting between the two leaders spread over delegation and restricted levels, covered terrorism in South Asia and emerging threats in West Asia.
At a joint media appearance with Obama, Modi expressed the hope that India-US relations will make fast progress.
“Both of us are committed taking forward the civil nuclear partnership agreement. We are serious about resolving at the earliest issues relating to civil nuclear energy cooperation. This is important for India for meeting energy security needs,” he said.
The Indo-US nuclear deal concluded between the previous Manmohan Singh government and the Bush Administration had been stalled because of issues relating to libality laws.
At the same time, Modi said that he had requested Obama to “take such steps which would ensure easier access to Indian companies in the service sector in the US market”.
In the defence sector, the prime minister said both the sides decided to take forward the dialogue in security and defence.
He invited the US defence companies to participate in Indian defence manufacturing sector to help in its development.
India has recently raised the foreign investment cap in the defence sector from 26 to 49 per cent.
Sharing concerns over the threat of terrorism in South Asia and emerging challenges in West Asia, where Islamist group ISIS has been on the rampage, Modi said the two countries agreed to intensify cooperation in counter terrorism and intelligence sharing.
Obama said India was emerging as a major power for peace and security in the region.
Both of them had a candid discussion about WTO issues.
“India supports trade facilitation but it is my wish that a solution should take care of our food security concerns. I am sure that it is possible to do that early.”
“I am looking forward to building up on relationship and make more progress,” he said.
The President said the two leaders discussed various issues including trade and economic cooperation, cooperate in exploration of space and scientific developments especially to deal with challenges like Ebola.
Meanwhile, India and US have in principle agreed to extend their defence agreement for another 10 years which will take forward the cooperation between the two countries in the crucial area.
Sources in the Department of Defence said, “we are still negotiating the framework agreement (defence) but have not finished.”
Pentagon sources said it was “happening”.
The framework agreement, which will expire next year, was signed here in 2005 by then Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his US counterpart Donald Rumsfeld.
Earlier, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed issues relating to defence cooperation and combating terrorism.
The pact had laid strong foundations leading to mutually beneficial defence cooperation between the two countries through security dialogue, service-level exchanges, defence exercises and defence trade and technology collaboration.
The renewal of the pact had figured at meeting Defence Minister Arun Jaitley had with his American counterpart Chuck Hagel last month in New Delhi.
In the meeting, both sides had decided to take steps for extension of the pact besides agreeing to enhance cooperation in joint production and development of defence equipment.
The US has been pushing defence deals with India worth over Rs 20,000 crore, including the sale of Apache attack choppers, Chinook heavy lift helicopters and the Javelin anti-tank guided missiles.
It has already sold equipment worth Rs 60,000 crore in the last 10 years to India but none of these weapon sales programme is about joint production or co-development and does not include transfer of technology.
India has raised the FDI cap in defence sector recently from 26 per cent to 49 per cent with an aim of boosting indigenous defence production. India imports almost 70 per cent of its defence needs from foreign sources. (PTI)