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September 16, 2000
The Clinton-Vajpayee joint statement: The full text
Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Clinton reaffirmed the vision they outlined in March in New Delhi of a closer and qualitatively new relationship between India and the United States in the 21st century. They reiterated their conviction that closer cooperation and stronger partnership between the two countries will be a vital factor for shaping a 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 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. They expressed satisfaction at the pace and purposefulness with which the two countries have initiated the consultations envisaged in the dialogue architecture.
In particular, the two leaders are gratified by their recent exchange of visits, and by the regular foreign policy consultations at the ministerial and senior policy levels:
During this visit, the two leaders had productive discussions across a wide range of bilateral, regional and international developments. In the economic arena, they agree that India's continuing economic reforms, as well as the two countries' complementary strengths and resources, provide strong bases for expansion of economic ties between the two countries. The two leaders recognized the need to deepen cooperation on high-tech trade issues. They noted that the present regime on e-commerce would be rolled over until the next ministerial meeting of the WTO, and that the two countries would cooperate in building a wider international consensus on information technology. The two leaders pledged their joint commitment to bridge the digital divide, both within and between countries, so that the benefits of information technology may advance the economic and social development of all citizens, rich and poor.
The two leaders expressed satisfaction with their agreement on textiles. They also affirmed the need for expansion of bilateral civil aviation ties and agreed to work toward this goal. They recognized the contribution that biotechnology can make to a safe and nutritious food supply, in offering new options to farmers to address problems of pests and diseases, while contributing to environmental protection and enhancing global food security. The governments of the United States and India will explore ways of enhancing cooperation and information exchange, joint collaborative projects and training of scientists in agriculture biotechnology research. The ongoing vaccine research would be further strengthened also, making use of genomics and bioinformatics. The governments of both the United States and India support science-based regulatory activities.
They also noted significant progress on other important economic issues including mutual taxation and investment in the power and other sectors. In regard to double taxation issues, the competent authorities of both sides intend to soon negotiate an arrangement under which collection or recovery of tax will generally be suspended on a reciprocal basis, during pendency of a mutual agreement proceeding. To ensure sustainable economic growth that will lift the lives of rich and poor alike, the two leaders committed support for efforts that will make capital markets more efficient, transparent, and accountable to attract the billions in private investment that is needed.
They recognize the need for appropriate technology for power generation and the importance of greater South Asian regional cooperation and trade in energy, as well as the development and application of clean technologies that address our respective problems of urban and water pollution. The leaders noted with satisfaction the signings of several major commercial agreements, under which US firms will contribute to the development of the power industry in India.
The United States and India intend to harness their cooperation in emerging scientific and economic sectors into a partnership for defining new ways of fighting hunger, disease, pollution, and other global challenges of our time. The two leaders pledged their strong commitment to address the global challenge of the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS through the close involvement and cooperation between the governments and civil society in the two countries. They expressed support for the collaborative program for research in various areas, including HIV/AIDS vaccine development, through the Joint Working Groups of scientists envisaged by the Joint Statement of June 2000. They agreed to encourage the formation of a business council to combat HIV/AIDS with the active involvement and participation of business and industry to raise awareness in the industrial workplace.
The two leaders discussed international security. They recalled the long history of Indo-US cooperation in UN peacekeeping operations, most recently in Sierra Leone. The two leaders agreed to broaden their cooperation in peacekeeping and other areas of UN activity, including in shaping the future international security system. The two leaders also discussed the evolving security environment in Asia, recalling their common desire to work for stability in Asia and beyond. They agreed that the Asian Security Dialogue that the two countries have initiated will strengthen mutual understanding.
The two countries 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 cooperation, 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.
The United States and India seek to advance their dialogue on security and nonproliferation issues, building upon the joint statement signed during President 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 (CTBT) comes into effect. The United States reaffirmed its intention to work for ratification of the Treaty at the earliest possible date. The Indian government will continue efforts to develop a broad political consensus on the issue of the Treaty, with the purpose of bringing these discussions to a successful conclusion. India also reconfirmed its commitment not to block entry into force of the Treaty. India expects that all other countries, as included in Article XIV of CTBT, will adhere to this Treaty without reservations. The United States and India reiterated their support for a global treaty to halt the production of fissile material for weapons purposes, and for the earliest possible start of Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty negotiations in Geneva. The United States noted its moratorium on the production of fissile material for weapons purposes and supports a multilateral moratorium on such production pending conclusion of a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty. The United States and India commended the progress made so far on export controls, and pledged to continue to strengthen them. Both countries agreed to continue their dialogue on security and nonproliferation, including on defense posture, which is designed to further narrow differences on these important issues.
In 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 cooperation in this area. They 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.
Finally, the two leaders also paid tribute to the contributions of the Indian-American community in providing a bridge of understanding between the two societies and in strengthening the ties of commerce and culture between the two countries. In this connection, they commended the progress of the initiative to set up a collaborative Global Institute for Science and Technology in India. The two leaders agreed to encourage people-to-people connections between the two nations, and to enlist the cooperation of all sections of their talented and diverse societies in support of that goal.
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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