India, US vow to expand strategic partnership for ‘better world’ (Lead)

Washington, Nov 25 ( Vowing to expand the India-US “global strategic partnership for a better world”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama have set an agenda in five key areas ranging from countering terrorism to stimulating global economic revival.

“President Obama stated the United States looks forward to a stable and prosperous India playing an increasingly important role in world affairs,” said a joint statement issued Tuesday after their summit meeting in the Oval Office amid the glitz and glamour of a state visit, the first of the Obama presidency.

The two leaders “reaffirmed the global strategic partnership between India and the United States, and launched a new phase in this partnership,” it said as “they committed to build upon the India-US Strategic Dialogue announced in July 2009”.

The statement titled “India And The United States: Partnership For A Better World” listed a wide ranging agenda:

* Advancing Global Security And Countering Terrorism;

* Ensuring Sustainable Global Development And A Clean Energy Future;

* Stimulating Global Economic Revival;

* Educating And Empowering Future Generations; and

* Protecting The Health Of Our People.

Renewing their commitment to expand cooperation on strategic issues facing both countries and the world, Manmohan Singh and Obama committed to redouble their collective efforts to deal effectively with terrorism as part of the Counter-terrorism Cooperation Initiative.

The two leaders also launched a Green Partnership, reaffirming their countries’ strong commitment to taking vigorous action to combat climate change, ensuring their mutual energy security, working towards global food security, and building a clean energy economy that will drive investment, job creation, and economic growth throughout the 21st century.

Toward that end, Manmohan Singh and Obama agreed on a comprehensive memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation on energy security, energy efficiency, clean energy, and climate change.

They affirmed that the Copenhagen climate summit outcome must be comprehensive and cover mitigation, adaptation, finance, and technology. Moreover, it should reflect emission reduction targets for developed countries and nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing countries, they said and resolved to take significant mitigation actions and to stand by these commitments.

The United States, the world’s largest economy, and India, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, committed to working together to stimulate a global economic revival, to strengthen global economic and financial institutions, to work toward a balanced and ambitious outcome in the Doha Round negotiations, and to promote global food security.

US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will establish a new US-India Economic and Financial Partnership to strengthen bilateral engagement on macroeconomic, financial sector, development, and infrastructure related issues.

Geithner will visit India in early 2010 for the launch of this new partnership with Mukherjee and other economic and regulatory counterparts.

In meeting the demands of a changing world economy, the two leaders committed to building an enhanced India-US strategic partnership in education that seeks to advance solutions to the defining global challenges that their countries face.

Expanding higher education cooperation through increased exchanges and greater academic collaboration, as well as enhancing the role of the private sector, are important elements to this strategic approach.

Manmohan Singh and Obama also reaffirmed their countries’ strong commitment to advancing public health and biomedical research and programming collaborations between India and the US.