news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute| October 1, 2014| 8.20 am IST Saying there is "new confidence, new excitement" in the India-US relationship, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday assured the US of India's commitment to take their stalled landmark civil nuclear deal forward as both sides agreed to work together to disrupt financial and tactical support for terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Jaish-e-Mohammed. Modi, after holding over two-hour-long summit talks with President Barack Obama, invited US defence companies to invest in India. "India and US are natural partners and America is an integral part of our Look East, Link West policy," he said addressing the media. India and the US are to intensify cooperation in counter-terrorism operations and sharing intelligence and have agreed on disrupting financial and tactical support for terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammedm, D-company and the Haqqani network, officials said. "Bilateral ties on energy, defence, security, and infrastructure were discussed during the Modi-Obama meeting," said officials. External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbarudding tweeted that both sides have "agreed on joint and concerted efforts, including dismantling of safe havens for terrorist and criminal networks". India and the US have also decided to renew the Framework Agreement for defence cooperation for a further 10 years. Both sides also agreed to have the US as the knowledge partner for India's planned National Defence University. "We are committed to the resolution of civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries," Modi said. "The India-US Group is to address all implementation issues to speed up deployment of US origin nuclear reactors in India," officials said. "The infrastructure platform will facilitate US and Indian firms in expanding infrastructure projects. The US will be the lead partner in developing Allahabad, Ajmer and Vizag as smart cities," Modi said. Both discussed Afghanistan, where there is a new government in place and both agreed to continue to help the violence-hit nation and on the need to coordinate more in that field. On the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, both agreed that it was a great crisis. Modi informed Obama that India has given $12 million to fight the virus outbreak. Obama said India was emerging as a major power for peace and security in the region. Both of them discussed the WTO issues. "India supports trade facilitation but it is my wish that our food security concerns should be taken care of," Modi said. Referring to the Mars mission, Modi said it was a happy coincidence that the summit meeting with Obama was taking place a week after the "summit" in space between the Indian and US orbiters over Mars. "After the Indian and US missions held a summit in space after reaching Mars, we are holding a summit meeting here. This is a happy coincidence," Modi remarked. India's Mars Orbiter Mission last week entered the Mars orbit successfully, days after that of the NASA's Mars Curiosity rover. Modi invited US defence companies to participate in Indian defence manufacturing sector. Both have also agreed to cooperate in exploration of space and scientific developments, especially to deal with challenges like Ebola. Later, speaking ahead of the luncheon hosted by Vice President Joe Biden, Modi said there was "new confidence and new excitement" in the India-US relationship and that both sides needed to work to bring down the difference in their energy systems -- "120 volts (US) and 220 volts (India)" -- to bring them together. He also said India was ready to march ahead, step by step and in tune with the US and wanted to "select those parts that take us to the welfare of the world and humankind and strengthen democracy and help small nations, and we are confident we will put our energies to this effort." He said because of his visit to the US there is "new confidence, new excitement in the relationship, and ultimately the relationship between countries is based on the kind of confidence between the two countries and the chemistry between their leaders, which works for a long time". "India is moving very fast", he said based on its youth power and innovation, and was "creating new hope in the world". "India is committed and determined and want to assure the world and the US that we will fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the world," he said. IANS

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