Highlights of Hillary Clinton’s remarks on US-India ties

June 18th, 2009 - 2:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 18 (IANS) The Obama administration was committed to “furthering and deepening the relationship with India in every way possible”, said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, outlining “four platforms of cooperation” and stressing that she would make the expanded partnership a “personal priority”.
Highlights of her address on US-India ties to the US-India Business Council’s ‘Synergies Summit” here Wednesday:

* We are clearly committed to furthering and deepening our relationship with India in every way possible.

* I will be visiting India next month, which I’m looking forward to.

* I want you to place me and where I stand as Secretary of State. It is in a position of deep commitment to building stronger ties with India… And I know that President Obama feels the same way. We see India as one of a few key partners worldwide who will help us shape the 21st century.

* The nuclear deal, which was completed through the efforts of former President Bush, removed the final barrier to broader cooperation between us.

* Today, I can tell you my hope and President Obama’s hope that the next stage in our country’s relationship will see a dramatic expansion in our common agenda, and a greater role for India in solving global challenges. We recognise the extraordinary progress that India has made already, and we know that many of these advances have not come easily, and we don’t take them for granted.

* We need the bilateral cooperation between our governments to catch up with our people-to-people and economic ties. We need to make sure that the partnership between Washington and New Delhi, our capitals, will be as advanced and fruitful as the linkages that already exist between Manhattan and Mumbai, or Boston and Bangalore.

* I hope that an expanded partnership between the US and India will be one of the signature accomplishments of both new governments in both countries, and I do plan to make that a personal priority.

* Some Americans fear that greater prosperity and partnership with India will mean lost jobs or falling wages here in the United States. Some Indians believe that closer cooperation with us runs counter to their nation’s very strong tradition of independence.

* As part of that strategy, we should expand our broader security relationship and increase cooperation on counterterrorism and intelligence sharing. And the president and I are committed to working with India in whatever way is appropriate to enhance India’s ability to protect itself.

* We should also work to realise a vision articulated by generations of Indians, Americans, and recently by President Obama, of a nuclear-free world. The Civil Nuclear Agreement helped us get over our defining disagreement, and I believe it can and should also serve as the foundation of a productive partnership on nonproliferation.

* We have a common interest in creating a stable, peaceful Afghanistan, where India is already providing $1.2 billion in assistance to facilitate reconstruction efforts.

* I hope we can partner with India to improve outcomes at all levels of education. Our countries should continue the tradition of intellectual exchange by increasing opportunities for interaction by American institutions of higher learning and their Indian counterparts as well.

* We should continue working together to promote initiatives like micro-lending and provide training programmes for rural women as tools to help lift them and their families out of poverty.

* We can also work together to address health challenges including nutrition, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, and other infectious diseases, as well as the growing problem of chronic disease in both of our nations.

* Encouraging greater agricultural cooperation should be a major focus of our economic agenda. India is ripe for a second green revolution.

* Our commitment to work with the business community means that in September we will relaunch the CEO Forum on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. We hope that effort, along with other initiatives, will channel the power of the private sector and entrepreneurs to build and improve the lives of both Indians and Americans.

* Finally, we should bring together the best of our technological and scientific brains to encourage breakthroughs in both science and technology. We are committed to working with India to see India’s economy continue to prosper, to create more economic opportunity, rising incomes. We want Indians to have a higher standard of living.

* So four platforms of cooperation - global security, human development, economic activity, science and technology - can support us in launching this third phase of the US-India relationship.

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