AAP staff report
WASHINGTON (July 20, 2011) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton completed an official visit to India this week, moving on to Indonesia Thursday to talk about security and related agreements with the two nations.
Secretary Clinton and India’s Secretary Clinton and India’s Minister of External Affairs Shri S.M. Krishna held a U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue on Tuesday in New Delhi, India.
“I have been looking forward to this visit — not only for the chance to spend time in India, a nation for which I have a great deal of personal affection — but also to continue the important work we are doing together in this Strategic Dialogue,” said Clinton.
Clinton paused to express her sympathy and outrage over the terrorist attack in Mumbai last week, saying the United States condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms, and pledged support to the Indian government in protecting its cities and citizens from future harm.
“We are allies in the fight against violent extremist networks,” said Clinton. “And homeland security is a high priority and a source of increasing partnership.”
It was the second annual meeting with the leaders recognizing the achievements made since the inaugural Strategic Dialogue in June 2010. The agreement was outlined following President Obama’s historic visit to India in November 2010. It was designed to advanced the two countries’ shared interests.
As a testament to the relationship’s extraordinary breadth and depth, Secretary Clinton was accompanied by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the President’s Advisor for Science and Technology Dr. John P. Holdren, Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman, Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute, and other senior U.S. government officials.
Minister Krishna was joined by Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Prime Minister’s Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation Advisor Sam Pitroda, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, and other senior officials.
Minister Krishna was also joined at the working lunch by Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Minister for Human Resource Development and Information Technology Kapil Sibal.
As part of Secretary Clinton’s visit to India, she met with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance Sonia Gandhi, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, and National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon.
Secretary Clinton offered her prayers and sympathies to the victims of the despicable attacks in Mumbai on July 13. The American people stand with the Indian people in times of trial, and offer support to India’s efforts to bring the perpetrators of these terrible crimes to justice. Minister Krishna welcomed the expressions of support from the Secretary, the President, and the U.S. Congress. The two leaders resolved to strengthen cooperation between their governments to fight against terrorism.
Since the inaugural Strategic Dialogue in 2010, the U.S.-India partnership has resulted in advances in nearly every area of human endeavor. The two sides have expanded their strategic consultations to cover all major issues and regions of the world. They have increased counterterrorism cooperation, intelligence sharing, and law enforcement exchanges. They have continued to expand their defense cooperation.
They have expanded their growing partnership on export controls and non-proliferation. They have witnessed an expansion of the already robust people-to-people ties; scientific, space, and technology collaboration; clean energy cooperation; and connections among entrepreneurs and social innovators.
The two leaders emphasized our countries’ shared values – pluralism, tolerance, openness, and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights. They reiterated Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s and President Barack Obama’s pledge to harness these shared strengths and to expand the U.S.-India global partnership for the benefit of their countries; and for peace, stability, and prosperity in Asia and the world.
Secretary Clinton thanked the Minister, the Government, and the people of India for their gracious hospitality, their warm welcome, and their hard work in making this year’s Strategic Dialogue a success. Secretary Clinton thanked Minister Krishna for his strong support for the U.S.-India relationship.
Minister Krishna thanked the Secretary for her participation and engagement in this year’s Strategic Dialogue and for the commitment and dedication she has given to the U.S. – India global partnership.
The next meeting of the Strategic Dialogue is planned for Washington D.C. in 2012.
Clinton spoke at the Anna Centenary Library in Chennai, India on Wednesday, recalling her first visit to India as First Lady in the 1990s, then as a senator from New York, and now as Secretary of State in the Obama Administration.
“But this is the first opportunity to come to this extraordinary coastal city here in the South, and one that means so much to so many in my own country and elsewhere, and to be in Tamil Nadu, who is a state that is one of the most industrialized, globalized, and educated in all of India, said Clinton.
President Obama made his state visit to India last year, and Clinton noted that she has been there twice in the last two years. She said the attention given to such high level U.S. visits and welcoming Indian counterparts to Washington is an understanding that “much of the history of the 21st century will be written in Asia, and that much of the future of Asia will be shaped by decisions not only of the Indian Government in New Delhi, but of governments across India, and perhaps, most importantly, by the 1.3 billion people who live in this country.”
Clinton said the government-to-government relations work only because of a greater commitment to people-to-people relationships. She called this central to the partnership and friendship between the two countries.
She said the United States is counting on India’s future as an opening market to the world that would bring more prosperity to South Asia. At the same time, she said India’s growth would have a positive impact on Central Asia and the entire Asia Pacific region.
“We are betting that advances in science and technology of all kinds will both enrich Indian lives and advance human knowledge everywhere,” said Clinton. “And we are betting that India’s vibrant, pluralistic democracy will produce measurable results and improvements for your citizens and will inspire others to follow a similar path of openness and tolerance.”
Clinton added that India is a great partner with a democratic foundation that focuses on improving the lives of all its citizens in its efforts to grow. She said the U.S. and India are two different cultures with interests that are not always aligned and would disagree. However, she said
“But we believe that our differences are far outweighed by our deep and abiding bonds,” she said. “Our nations are built on the same bedrock beliefs about democracy, pluralism, opportunity, and innovation. We share common interests like stopping terrorism and spurring balanced and broad-based economic growth that goes deeply into our societies.”