Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at Opening Session of U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
July 19, 2011
Indian Foreign Minister Krishna and Secretary Clinton Attend U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks at the Opening Session of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi, India, on July 19, 2011. Secretary Clinton discussed three issues, including trade and investment, security cooperation, and the completion of the U.S.-India civil nuclear agreement.

Secretary Clinton began by expressing our sympathy and outrage over the terrorist attack in Mumbai last week. She said, "...The United States condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms. We send our deepest condolences to the families of the victims. And we pledge our support to the Indian government however we can in protecting its cities and citizens from future harm. We are allies in the fight against violent extremist networks. And homeland security is a high priority and a source of increasing partnership.

"That's why we signed the Counterterrorism Cooperative Initiative to increase our cooperation on the investigation of crimes, law enforcement, border management and cyber security. And in May, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano came to New Delhi to launch with you the first-ever U.S.-India Homeland Security Dialogue, to bring order and urgency to our shared efforts. The events in Mumbai have driven home how important it is that we get results.

"And that's true across every aspect of our engagement. The United States joined India in this Strategic Dialogue because we believe -- as President Obama has said -- that the relationship between India and the United States will be a defining partnership in the 21st century. The stakes are high. So it is critical that this dialogue lead to concrete and coordinated steps that each of our governments take to produce real results that make a difference in our people's lives. Because that's ultimately what this is all about -- joining forces to protect our citizens and help every man, woman, and child live up to their God-given potential.

"Today, we will review what we have achieved together across a range of issues. On some, like education, energy, and science and technology, we have recently begun new projects or are about to do so. On others -- in particular, trade and investment, security cooperation, and our civil nuclear agreement -- we have made progress and, if we redouble our efforts, we are poised to go even further."

Secretary Clinton outlined three issues. She said, "...With regard to trade and investment, the ties between our countries are strong and growing stronger. The United States is proud to be one of India's largest trading partners and direct investors, and we welcome India's investment in the United States, which is rapidly on the rise. This is a good news story -- but we would be remiss if we didn't strive to make it even better. Each of our countries can do more to reduce barriers, open our markets, and find new opportunities for economic partnership. Taking these steps is in our mutual interest. We can improve millions of lives and increase both of our nations' economic competitiveness.

"On the matter of security cooperation: again, we have made progress. But we can do more to strengthen the security of our nations and this region as a whole. I've already mentioned our cooperation on counterterrorism. Maritime security is also a major concern, as we seek to protect sea lanes, combat piracy, and defend freedom of navigation. We applaud India's leadership on fighting piracy in the Indian Ocean, including your decision last week to chair the 2012 plenary of the piracy contact group. And on another issue -- defense technologies -- the United States expects to continue developing and selling the world's most competitive products. We view these sales as important on their own terms, but also as a means to facilitate the work that the Indian and American militaries can do together -- whether patrolling the seas or providing relief to the victims of natural disasters.

"And third, our civil nuclear agreement has been a joint investment by our countries, not just in the field of nuclear energy but also in our relationship. But to reap the benefits of that investment and to see returns on the political capital that has been spent on both sides, we need to resolve remaining issues so we can reap the rewards of a robust civil nuclear energy partnership. I look forward to the day when the computers of a school in Gujarat are powered by a reactor designed in America."

Secretary Clinton continued, "...Let us not forget the broader regional and global context. There was a time when India's role as a leading nation was discussed as something that would happen at some point in the distant future. But that is no longer the case. India is a global leader. And the United States wholeheartedly supports this development and sees great benefits in our growing partnership. That's why we support initiatives like the trilateral forum we are establishing with India and Japan; why we've stood in favor of a stronger role for India in forums like the G-20; and why we look forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member."

In closing, she said, "...My point today is this: India's rise is directly connected to what we are working to achieve through this Dialogue. The cooperation we are forging here should build habits of cooperation and bonds of trust as we strive to make both of our countries stronger, more prosperous, and better equipped to address the challenges we face.

"So let's make the most of our time together in New Delhi to review our progress to date, recognize the gains we have made -- and then become even more determined to turn the aspirations of this Dialogue into real results for our people and our nations."

You can read the Secretary's complete remarks here.



Ashim C.
July 19, 2011

Ashim in India writes:

The very fact that US Secretary of State can say things now sitting next to Indian officialdom in New Delhi should convince US administration how fast India has moved away from her traditional position of being independent in dealing with terrorism at home. This is understandable. If there can be cooperation with USA against terrorism in principle, how can cooperation against terrorism in Kashmir be prevented by anyone. What has been happening in Kashmir is hardly different from terrorism with very strong fundamentalist undertones. It really matters little whether India calls that war in proxy or whether Pakistan describes that as stuffle for liberation by Kashmiris. Fact is everybody knows who inspires, finances, and often directly partakes in that. Myth of state actors and non stake actors, which was sought to be created, should have fallen apart even in the eyes of USA. Therefore, it is time for USA to take an absolutely clear stand on India's claim on entire Kashmir, and also on that part of POK which Pakistan has parted to China. US and international community must also clarify Mcmohan line. This would be an apt reciprocation to shifts bt India from it's traditional positions. Possibly, these issues are discussed at some level and requirements of secrecy in diplomacy dictates that those discussions are not made public prematurely. Be that as it may, it shall be extremely difficult for Dr. Manmohan Singh to explain and justify the paradigm shift in India's USA policy specifically and foreign policy generally to opposition parties in India however much desirable they may be. It is noteworthy that both USA and India prefer to remain silent on issues which have even an iota to do with China except in a very remote fashion in indirect references. Mentions on the very vast areas of cooperation would get hugely great importance if these issues are addressed candidly in all US-India dialogues. But look at China; China said clearly that she would support India as permanent member of UNSC if India distanced from Japan just on the eve of Mrs. Clinton's visit to India. Significantly, trilateral summit of USA, India and Japan has been mentioned in joint communique.


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