Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Obama looking forward to set ‘ambitious new agenda’ with Modi: John Kerry

KerryModi_m Narendra Modi said there was broad convergence of views and interests between the two countries. (Source: AP)
Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Posted: August 1, 2014 3:29 pm | Updated: August 1, 2014 4:19 pm

President Barack Obama is looking forward to a summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September to set an “ambitious new agenda” to chart a new course in the bilateral ties, top US functionaries John Kerry and Penny Pritzker said on Friday.

Kerry, US Secretary of State, and Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce, conveyed this during a meeting here with Modi who said the two countries should prepare for concrete outcomes during the Summit to take the relationship to “an entirely new level on the basis of vision, strategy and action plan.”

Modi is expected to travel to Washington in September-end for his first summit meeting with Obama.

During the hour-long meeting, the two visiting Secretaries briefed the Prime Minister on the India-US Strategic Dialogue that took place in Delhi on Thursday.

Conveying that Obama attaches great priority to relations with India, both for bilateral cooperation and global partnership, they said he looks forward to a “productive and fruitful” Summit in September to “set an ambitious new agenda to chart a new course in the relationship”, a PMO statement said.

Modi said there was broad convergence of views and interests between the two countries.

He conveyed his appreciation for Obama’s “thoughtful and detailed letter” and asked both sides to prepare for “concrete outcomes during the Summit to take the relationship to an entirely new level, on the basis of vision, strategy and action plan”, the statement said.

Modi outlined his vision for India and for the partnership between the world`s two largest democracies in addressing global challenges, promoting peace and stability in the world and supporting India`s own economic transformation.

The Prime Minister highlighted the opportunities for partnership in trade, investment, clean energy, innovation, education, skill development, agro-processing, youth empowerment, among others.

Modi emphasised the need for developed countries to understand the challenges of poverty in developing countries and their governments’ responsibilities in addressing them,when discussions take place in international forums.

The Prime Minister also talked about the regional situation, including India’s engagement in Asia Pacific region and commitment to bring South Asia together in a united effort to promote regional economic development.

India’s commitment to continue its support to Afghanistan and the need to confront terrorism on the principles of “zero tolerance” and eschewing a selective approach to terrorism was also highlighted by Modi during the meeting with Kerry and Pritzker.

The Prime Minister thanked Kerry and Pritzker for visiting India for the Strategic Dialogue although it was the turn of the US to host it.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh and other officials were present at the meeting, the PMO statement said.

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