US President Barack Obama today supported India’s candidature for membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as he discussed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi ways to take the bilateral ties to new heights.
Addressing the media jointly with Modi after over hour-long talks at the White House, Obama said it was natural for India and the US, two biggest democracies, to “deepen and broaden” partnership.
Modi said the two leaders discussed a wide range of issues, particularly ways to take the bilateral economic ties to new heights.
The other issues discussed by them included terrorism, clean energy, climate change, regional security and cyber security.
During his remarks to the media, Obama said they discussed progress made in the Civil Nuclear agreement.
“I indicated support to India being a part of NSG,” the US President said amidst opposition by China to such a move.
Obama underlined that India needs technology which is critical for its progress and prosperity.
Modi later said, “I am thankful for the help and support that my friend President Obama has extended with regard to membership in MTCR and NSG.”
Obama said non-proliferation of nuclear material and technology was also discussed. “I also mentioned the Prime Minister’s very effective participation in the Nuclear Security Summit,” he said.
Traditional security challenges as well as new challenges, like cyber security, were discussed during the talks, the US President said.
While informing that they also discussed “important regional issues”, he said the US and India have “shared vision of peace and development” and that “complex issues” should be resolved diplomatically.
Modi said India and the US, the two biggest democracies, have worked shoulder-to-shoulder in meeting the challenges that face, not only the two countries, but the entire world.
“Over the last two years, India and the US have been cooperating on global issues like climate change, nuclear security, terrorism…I feel proud, not just as friends but as two countries, on this and we will continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder,” he said.
“The more we work together in new areas, the better it is for the benefit of the world as well as our two countries, which our dream,” the Prime Minister said.
Obama, who received Modi with a warm embrace, said it was his “great pleasure to welcome back my friend Prime Minister Modi to the Oval Office.”
The President said Modi’s leadership generates “new excitement”, not only among the Indian Americans but also among Americans.
After his seventh meeting with Obama since 2014, Modi said India and the US are working as friends and partners in leading the world, and to protect the legacy that “we both are proud of”.
At the outset, Obama recollected his visit to India in January last year as Chief Guest for the Republic Day celebrations and “the incredible hospitality” he received.
“I still have fond memories of being honored by the PM’s invitation to participate in the Republic Day parade in India,” he said.
“As world’s two largest democracies and with strong bonds between peoples and businesses, scientific and educational communities, it is natural that the US and India deepen and broaden our partnership across the whole range of issues,” the President said.
Referring to the Climate Change summit in Paris in December last year, he said the joining of forces between India and US helped forge the historical agreement to effectively deal with climate change.
“We discussed how we can, as quickly as possible bring the Paris agreement into force, how we can make sure that, how climate financing that is necessary for India to embark on the bold vision for solar energy and clean energy that PM Modi has laid out, can be accomplished,” Obama said.
Modi said the US is “well aware” of the talent of India, a country which is “young” with 800 million people below 35 years of age. “Our youth power can work with the United States to achieve new heights,” he said.
The Prime Minister said India today is the fastest growing economy of the world and that the two countries should cooperate more in new areas.
He said he and Obama would meet in September on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit (in China). Till that time, he hoped, they would be able to make progress in a number of areas, including the “dream of climate justice”.