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September 16, 2000
India, US to combat terrorism together
Amberish K Diwanji at the White House
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and United States President William Jefferson Clinton reaffirmed their belief that tensions in South Asia can only be resolved by the nations of South Asia, and by peaceful means.
India reiterated its commitment to enhancing co-operation, peace, and stability in the region. Both sides stressed the unacceptability of continued violence and bloodshed as a basis for solution of the problems of the region.
This was declared in the joint statement issued by Vajpayee and Clinton after their summit on Friday.
The joint statement further said that in the realm of combating international terrorism, the two leaders called on the international community to intensify its efforts, including at the current session of the United Nations. Noting that both India and the United States are targets of continuing terrorism, they expressed their determination to further reinforce bilateral co-operation in this area.
India and the US have agreed to hold another round of counter-terrorism consultations in New Delhi later this month, and to pursue work on a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, the statement added.
The Indian head of government and the US head of State also discussed the eveloving security environment, and recalled their need to work for stability in Asia and beyond.
The US and India seeks to advance their dialogue on security and non-proliferation issues, building upon the joint statement signed during Clinton's visit to India in March. They reiterated their respective commitments to forgo nuclear explosive tests.
India reaffirmed that, subject to its supreme national interests, it will continue its voluntary moratorium until the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty comes into effect.
The US reaffirmed its intention to work for the ratification of the treaty while the Indian government would continue its efforts to develop a broad consensus on the issue of the Treaty with the purpose to successfully bringing these discussions to a conclusion.
India also assured not to block entry into force of the treaty, and expect all countries, as included in Article XIV of CTBT, will adhere to this treaty without reservations.
The US and India reiterated their support for a global treaty to halt production of fissile material for weapons purposes and for the earliest possible start of Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty negotiations.
Both nations agreed to continue their dialogue on security and nonproliferation, including on defence posture, which is designed to further narrow differences on these important issues.
The statement starts with the two leaders reaffirming their vision outlined in March 2000 in New Delhi of a closer and qualitatively new relationship between India and the US in the 21st century. They reiterated their conviction that closer co-operation and stronger partnership between the two countries will be a vital factor for shaping the future of peace, prosperity, democracy, pluralism, and freedom for this world. They acknowledged that this vision draws strength from broad political support in both countries.
The statement further said that the two leaders agreed that the wide-ranging architecture of institutional dialogue between the two countries provides a broad-based framework to pursue the vision of a new relationship.
The two leaders are grateful by their recent exchange of visits and by the regular foreign policy consultations at the ministerial and senior policy levels, which include:
Vajpayee and Clinton agreed that India and the US must build this new momentum in their relationship to further enhance mutual understanding and deepen co-operation across the full spectrum of political, economic, commercial, scientific, technological, social, and international issues.
In the economic area, they agreed that India's continuing economic reforms and the two nations complementary strengths provide strong bases for deeper ties.
They noted that present regime on e-commerce would be rolled over until the next ministerial meeting of the WTO, and that the two countries would co-operate in building a wider international consensus on information technology.
The two agreed to bridge the digital divide between the rich and poor, both within countries and between countries.
The prime minister and president expressed satisfaction with their agreement on textiles, and affirmed need to expand civil aviation ties. They also recognised the role of biotechnology to contributing to environmental protection and enhancing global food security, and agreed to co-operate in this area.
The two also noted the significant progress on issues of mutual taxation, and investment in power and other sectors and agreed to co-operate in emerging scientific and economic sectors, especially in the area of health care and the fight against diseases such as AIDS/HIV.
Vajpayee and Clinton discussed international security and recalled the long history of Indo-US co-operation in United Nations peacekeeping, most recently in Sierra Leone.
Finally, the two leaders paid tribute to the contribution of the Indian American community in the US and agreed to encourage people-to-people connections between the two nations.
rediff.com has assigned Associate Editors Amberish K Diwanji and Savera R Someshwar to cover Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to the United States. Don't forget to log into rediff.com for news of this historic visit as it happens!
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