After Prime Minister’s discussion on Tuesday with US President in Washington, a joint statement described what it billed as their “third major bilateral summit”, after earlier meetings in September 2014 and January 2015.
The statement noted a new military logistics agreement, made common cause in the South China Sea, revealed growing American involvement in helping India build an indigenous aircraft carrier, and announced additional co-development projects for defence equipment. There is a new agreement for sharing terrorist-related information. India will be buying six 1,000 MW nuclear power plants from Toshiba-Westinghouse, with the contract to be signed in 2017. And Washington has thrown its full weight behind India’s candidature for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
US officials privately lament New Delhi’s poor follow-up of strategic agreements. This joint statement pins India down to specific action, announcing “a roadmap for cooperation under the 2015 US-India Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region, which will serve as a guide for collaboration in the years to come.”
In a subtly-worded statement that takes the US-India partnership beyond the 2014 Vision Statement and 2015 Declaration of Friendship, Modi and Obama “resolved that the United States and India should look to each other as priority partners in the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean region.”.