India-US: Milestones 2008 (with Yearender - 1)

December 20th, 2008 - 12:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 20 (IANS) Here is a timeline of major events in India-US relations in 2008:Jan 14 - India and the US hold high level talks on defence cooperation in Washington.

Jan 24 - India and the US agree to promote reciprocal trade and opportunities for strategic linkages between small and medium enterprises.

Feb 1 - The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and US space agency NASA agree to cooperate in space flights and outer space use.

Feb 8 - Air India launches non-stop flights between New York and New Delhi.

Feb 26 - US Defence Secretary Robert Gates visits India.

Feb 28 - India-US High Technology Cooperation Group holds its sixth meeting in New Delhi.

March 25 - External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee meets President George Bush at the White House to share India’s problems in taking the nuclear deal forward.

May 9 - Mukherjee discusses nuclear deal with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over phone.

June 11 - Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath visits the US to participate in the Global Partnership summit.

July 4 - Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and US Ambassador to India David Mulford sign agreement on financing education exchange programmes.

July 9 - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets President George Bush in Toyako, Japan, on the sidelines of G-8 and informs him of India’s decision to go ahead with the nuclear deal.

July 10 - Bush expresses appreciation for Manmohan Singh’s “commitment and willingness” to move forward with the nuclear deal despite the threat to his government.

Aug 1 - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) approves India-specific safeguards agreement clearing one more hurdle in the way of the India-US nuclear deal.

Aug 9-23 - The Indian Air Force participates in multinational Exercise Red Flag at the Nellis US Air Force Base in the deserts of Nevada.

Sep 6 - With the US playing India’s sherpa, NSG clears nuclear deal, paving way for its final approval by the US Congress.

Sep 7-10 - Defence Minister A.K. Antony visits the US, meets Robert Gates, talks with Rice on nuclear deal .

Sep 9 - With Antony in town, the US offers India a $170 million deal for the sale of Harpoon missiles.

Sep 10 - Bush sends nuclear deal text to the US Congress for its approval.

Sep 19 - Air India gets $548.6 million loan from the US Ex-Im Bank.

Sep 23 - Senate foreign relations panel approves nuclear deal with an overwhelming 19-2 vote.

Sep 25 - On a visit to the UN, Manmohan Singh comes down to Washington to meet Bush amid belied hopes that the US Congress would clear nuclear deal.

Sep 27 - Nuclear deal sails through the US House of Representatives with 298-117 votes.

Oct 1 - Senate gives a resounding 86-13 approval to the nuclear deal clearing the last legislative hurdle in its way.

Oct 3 - The US offers to sell India CBU-105 smart cluster bomb missiles in a $375-million deal.

Oct 4 - Rice visits New Delhi but returns without signing the nuclear deal as India insists on Bush assurances on nuclear fuel supplies.

Oct 8 - Bush signs US law approving the nuclear deal, allaying India’s concerns about nuclear fuel supplies with a signing statement.

Oct 10 - Mukherjee and Rice sign the implementing 123 agreement to finally complete the nuclear deal.

Oct 22 - NASA returns to Moon with its instruments on India’s first Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe mission.

Nov 5 - Manmohan Singh congratulates Democrat Barack Obama on his election as the first African-American president of the US.

Nov 12 - Obama telephones Manmohan Singh.

Nov 14 - An Obama special envoy to the G-20 summit says the president-elect attaches high priority to stronger ties with India.

Nov 27 - Bush condemns Mumbai terror attack, calls Manmohan Singh to voice support.

Nov 27 - Obama backs a country’s right to self-defence and vows to strengthen US partnership with India to root out terrorism.

Dec 3 - Rice visits India to show Washington’s solidarity with New Delhi, asks Pakistan to act against non-state actors launching terror attacks from its soil.

Dec 8 - Obama reiterates a country’s right to self-defence.

Dec 8: The largest ever US commercial nuclear mission to India is rescheduled for January following Mumbai terror attacks.

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