PM Singh's U.S visit

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by bengalraider, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    India summit sneak preview
    Fri, 11/20/2009 - 6:53pm


    When Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh comes to Washington next week, the Obama administration will be challenged to reassure India, and the Washington foreign-policy community, that the relationship is keeping up the momentum established during the Bush years.

    The visit comes at a time when the Obama administration is making overtures to China and focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the Indians are worried their rank on the White House priority list is falling. While U.S.-India relations are generally strong, in what is often seen as the zero-sum struggle for White House attention, New Delhi simply can't compete with Beijing and is increasingly worried about what that means for power politics in Asia.

    "From the Indian point of view, they are very unhappy with Obama," said Stephen Cohen, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, "Indians are really bent out of shape by what they see as a shift of American policy from India to China in Asia. This is complicated by America's dependence on Pakistan."

    Administration critics saw Obama's joint statement with Hu Jintao in Beijing as an implicit downgrading of the U.S.-India relationship. The statement said the "two sides are ready to strengthen communication, dialogue and cooperation on issues related to South Asia and work together to promote peace, stability and development in that region."

    "If China and America work together on South Asian issues, such as peace between India and Pakistan, then China is the great power while India is simply another South Asian country that needs help from others to solve its problems," wrote former Pentagon official Dan Blumenthal, "With the joint statement, Obama officially accorded India junior status in Asia."

    Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific security program at the Center for a New American Security, said that while "the relationship with India is clearly coming second," progress in the U.S.-China relationship indirectly benefits India.

    "If the United States and China can't figure out a way to manage their strategic competition, then India and all of us lose," said Cronin. "They need to give the administration more space to try to put the U.S.-China relationship on the most positive trajectory possible."

    Nevertheless, the Obama-Singh summit will stand in stark contrast to Singh's 2005 tête-à-tête with George W. Bush, when the two countries embarked on a "strategic partnership" that has taken the relationship far and paved the way for the U.S.-India nuclear agreement.

    "Bush already capitalized on what you could from that relationship," said Cronin. "They picked already the low-hanging fruit."

    The trip is likely to result in agreements to move forward on second-tier issues, such as an educational agreement, some new military sales to the Indians, or shared information on homeland security. But on big issues like Iran, moving forward with nonproliferation, and coming to terms on climate change, India hands expect little movement.

    Underlying the dynamic is a sense that the Obama administration has yet to really commit to a real plan for advancing the U.S.-India relationship. A State Department review is ongoing.

    One issue is that there is no real powerful driver for India policy within the administration. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is well versed on India, but too busy to address it day-to-day. That work has fallen to Under Secretary of State William Burns, but he too has a broad portfolio. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake is the highest identifiable official with a constant, determined focus on the relationship. Even at the National Security Council, India doesn't have a strong advocate yet.

    India lobbied against having Richard Holbrooke, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, as its lead interlocutor, leaving the relationship without a specific manager.

    Ashley Tellis, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is hoping the Obama administration will take the opportunity to announce its support for India to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.

    "Although it would have no short-term practical consequence, it would provide the benefits in ‘atmospherics' sought from Prime Minister Singh's visit," he wrote.

    That's not likely, according to most observers, but many argue that Obama must make some show of commitment to actually advancing the relationship, not just maintaining it.

    "Obama needs to show that we are trying to institutionalize what is the growing strategic relationship with India," said Cronin. "He can't have the prime minister go back to New Dehli without having a sense that we know where we are going together."

    Cohen pointed out that the White House might also be frustrated that India hasn't come through in the one area that could really benefit U.S. interests right now: reducing tensions with Pakistan so that Pakistan can divert its attention and resources toward cracking down on terrorism and militancy.

    "Where is their contribution to what's going in Afghanistan and what are they doing with respect to Pakistan that might make our problem there easier?" asked Cohen of the Pakistanis. "What have they done for Americans lately?"

    India summit sneak preview | The Cable
     
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  3. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    Good article. May be the words of the new president would be "ask not what america can do for India,ask what India can do for America".

    Obama's perceptions about india have not been clearly cut out lets wait till the state visit ends to discuss the initial offings and it will take 3 months to understand the full impact and nature just like during the previous administration when it offered the nuclear deal. For what its worth pm manmohan singh should pay a visit to president george w bush for a thanks giving dinner for old times sake and ask for republican support for bills pertaining to India like arms sales, technology transfers, strategic pacts like commercial satelittes launch agreement, supporting india's candidature for UN security council membership etc. This would ensure bi-partisan support for india, even against obama's own designs regarding pakistan and china.
     
  4. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    India has done too much for Us even at the cost its own strategic interests like
    1.keeping a low profile regarding afghanistan and constantly being targeted by isi backed militants at the same time.
    2.Voting against Iran in iaea, ignoring ipi pipeline benefits, getting shut out from investing to develop iranian oil and gas reserves.
    3.trying hard to make up with pakistan. Still getting blown on our face by 26/11 and still being incapable of retaliation.
    4.alienating russia significantly
    5.directly confronting china and now china sees india toe to toe with japan as its adversary
    6.our pm even put his government on the line during the trust vote.
    7.being incapable employing diplomacy with venezula, myanmar and north korea

    what more can obama ask from us,
    1.binding emissions on climate change
    2.no re-processing of spent fuel
    3.logistics support agreement
    4.communications, inter-operatability agreement
    5.kashmir issue resolve with pakistan
    6.giving china strategic space in our region
    and many more would follow, lets see
     
  5. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    partial quote.

    i believe MMS is due to meet ex -pres George W. in a dinner in his honour
     
  6. StealthSniper

    StealthSniper Senior Member Senior Member

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  7. RAM

    RAM The southern Man Senior Member

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    U.S. Chamber and U.S.-India Business Council Join Industry Leaders in Welcoming India’s Prime Minister Singh

    WASHINGTON - (Business Wire) As it becomes ever-apparent that partnerships like the United States and India will help provide a roadmap out of the current global recession, influence the economic destiny of the 21st Century, and create jobs around the world, America’s business leaders converged on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today to greet India’s Prime Minister Singh for his first major address in Washington, D.C this week.

    “This decade marks a major step forward in U.S.-India relations,” said Thomas J Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber, while introducing Singh at today’s event. “Our ever-innovative business communities are the drivers of this partnership and the job creators on both sides of the globe. It is gratifying that our governments have finally awakened to the vital importance of advancing stronger U.S.-India ties. We are privileged that Dr. Singh has joined us today and we heartily welcome him and the people of India to be our partners in building a strong, free, and enterprising 21st Century.”

    The Prime Minister, known as the father of India’s economic reforms, will inaugurate his second state visit to the United States by addressing an overflow crowd today—including members of the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC)—at the U.S. Chamber’s historic headquarters.

    “More than ever, companies from both countries are working seamlessly to build bridges between the two most powerful free-market economies,” said Ron Somers, president of the USIBC. “The future is very bright. There is no question U.S.-India ties will shape the economic destiny of the 21st Century.”

    India’s growth rate is at more than 6% of gross domestic product and the country has major plans for building-out its infrastructure—from roads, to ports, to airports, and power—an opportunity valued at $500 billion over the next five years. The U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation deal, approved last year by an overwhelming vote of the Congress and supported by the U.S. Chamber and the USIBC, promises tremendous areas for collaboration for U.S. businesses who are estimated to reap $100 billion over the next 20 years. Similarly, the Indian Air Force is procuring more than $10 billion worth of jet aircraft to replace their aging fleet of MIGs.

    “This type of technology exchange will positively influence cooperation in green technology, renewable energy, and in frontier areas of innovation for the two countries,” Somers said.

    The current administration has seized on the importance of building on this bilateral partnership promoted by earlier administrations. The U.S. business community is keen to underscore that they have been supporters of a strong U.S.-India relationship throughout. This is evident by the enthusiasm being generated by the Prime Minister’s first encounter with America’s public on this momentous occasion.

    U.S. business leadership is also seeking to draw attention to areas where closer synergies are possible, including:

    Securing U.S. backing for India’s permanent membership in the UN Security Council Closely coordinating on economic policy as the world moves out of the current financial downturn

    Progressing trade-related and investment issues, including the finalization of a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) and the successful conclusion of the Doha round

    Resolving the remaining issues related to the civilian nuclear agreement and continuing to advance defense cooperation Working toward a positive outcome in Copenhagen while fostering growth and innovation through new technologies in the energy sector – as well as agriculture and life sciences


    The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), formed in 1975 at the request of the Government of India and the U.S. Government to deepen trade and strengthen commercial ties, is hosted under the aegis of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region




    U.S. Chamber and U.S.-India Business Council Join Industry Leaders in Welcoming India’s Prime Minister Singh
     
  8. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    I don't see India gaining anything in this visit by MMS:
    Nothing completed in the nuclear deal reprocessing issue
    agreed to work on climate change
    agreed to be nice at WTO meeting
    probably agreed to drop iran pipeline plans
    did not clarify why USA wants Chinese interference in Kashmir
    agreed to buy mostly US weapons
    more US exports to India
    a space pact with USA possible meanwhile USA did not share sensitive techinology on chandradayaan 1 just a trick to interfere in chandraydayan 2 joint Indian russian effort.
    agreed to keep dollar as global currency when BRIC nations jointly asked for a dollar replacement

    what did MMS gain for India in this trip??


    this trip was probably reassurance by MMS to USA that he is a still a sellout that everyone has labeled him to be
     
  9. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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  10. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    The Prize is India!


    A relationship Obama should nurture.
    Fareed Zakaria
    Published Nov 21, 2009
    From the magazine issue dated Nov 30, 2009 (Newsweek)


    Barack Obama has been criticized for kowtowing to the Chinese and the Russians over the last few months. But so far, this is all about atmospherics. The administration has not made any unilateral concession of substance to either country. It is taking a strategic view that developing strong relationships with both countries, particularly China, will yield long-term benefits. Strangely, however, that strategic focus has been lost in dealing with Asia's other rising giant, India.

    At one level the administration is being extremely friendly. India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh comes to Washington this week for the first official state visit of the Obama presidency. There will be toasts and celebrations and many nice words said in public about the ties between the two great democracies. But underneath this lies an unease about the state of the relationship.

    Indian officials worry that the Obama team does not have the same fundamental orientation as the Bush administration regarding India's role in the 21st century. Some Obama officials publicly criticized the nuclear deal championed by George W. Bush, a deal that the Indians regard as basic recognition of their status as a major power. They worry that a Democratic administration could succumb to protectionism. They worry that it is too cozy with China.

    These concerns will pass as the two sides get to know each other better. The more lasting danger is that the Obama administration, now intensely focused on the war in Afghanistan, will look at South Asia largely through that prism. Since Washington desperately needs Pakistan's cooperation in that conflict, it is tending to adopt Pakistan's concerns as its own, which is producing a perverse view of the region.

    In his leaked report, Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned that "increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan is likely to exacerbate regional tensions and encourage Pakistani countermeasures." This is a bizarre criticism. India is the hegemon of South Asia, with enormous influence throughout the subcontinent. Its GDP is 100 times that of Afghanistan (that is not a typo). As Afghanistan opened itself up after the fall of the Taliban, the cuisine, movies, and money that flowed into the country were, naturally, Indian. This is like noting that the United States has had growing influence in Mexico over the last few decades.

    The Indian government's aid to Afghanistan has mostly gone to build schools and infrastructure. And while New Delhi is trying to gain influence with the Kabul government, U.S. officials tell me that Indian intelligence has limited operations in Afghanistan. America can't and should not want India to banish itself from its own subcontinent. In fact, India's objectives are exactly aligned with America's—to defeat the Taliban and to support the elected Afghan government.

    Pakistan's objectives, on the other hand, are not the same as Washington's. Islamabad has long argued that it has a right to see a pro-Pakistani government in Afghanistan. Asia expert Selig Harrison has noted that in an interview with him in 1988, Pakistan's President Zia ul-Haq demanded "a regime to our liking" in Kabul. Last year a Pakistani general told the director of national intelligence that Pakistan had to support the Taliban in Afghanistan, "otherwise India will reign." Having created the Afghan Taliban, Pakistan has still not taken any steps to dismantle it. Even now, while attacking the Pakistani Taliban in South Waziristan, it has not disturbed the leadership of the Afghan Taliban in Baluchistan.

    The Obama administration has also seemed to endorse the idea that if only the dispute over Kashmir were resolved, Pakistan would suddenly attack all the terror groups it has supported over the years. Now, it's fair to say that India is far too prickly about Kashmir, but the only path to any resolution there will lie in building trust between Pakistan and India. That's unlikely to happen while Pakistan refuses to go after the terror group that also planned the Mumbai attacks, Lashkar-e-Taiba.

    Generals like McChrystal—no matter how smart or tough—should not make policy, because they confuse the imperatives of the battlefield with a broader view. Obama must keep in mind that South Asia is a tar pit filled with failed and dysfunctional states, save for one long-established democracy of 1.2 billion people that is the second-fastest-growing major economy in the world, a check on China's rising ambitions, and a natural ally of the United States. The prize is the relationship with India. The booby prize is governing Afghanistan.

    Fareed Zakaria is editor of NEWSWEEK International and author of The Post-American World and The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad.
     
  11. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    By Ishaan Tharoor Monday, Nov. 23, 2009 (Time Magazine)

    The pomp and ceremony with which President Barack Obama will host India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a White House state dinner on Tuesday won't alter a perception in India that it has lost ground to China in the new Administration's Asia policy. Many in New Delhi saw President Obama's performance last week in Beijing as acquiescent toward an emboldened Beijing, New Delhi's longtime regional rival. And they see India having a diminished role in the economic and geopolitical calculations of Obama's White House — at least in comparison to the centrality it enjoyed in the Bush Administration's Asia policy.

    They may have winced at his blunders in Iraq and elsewhere, but many Indians welcomed President Bush's embrace, which strengthened ties between the world's largest democracies to an unprecedented degree after decades of Cold War estrangement. Prime Minister Singh faced opposition at home from parties skeptical of close ties with the U.S., but staked his political reputation on the growing relationship — his government was almost deposed by parties of the left protesting a nuclear-technology deal he concluded with the Bush Administration.

    "Under Bush, India was being encouraged to be an Asian power," says Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies at the Centre for Policy Research, a New Delhi–based think tank. Implicit in the Bush agenda was the idea of helping a rising India become a democratic bulwark against authoritarian China. Now," says Chellaney, "Obama sees things through a different prism."

    One example of the change has been the Obama Administration's scrapping of what had been known as the Quadrilateral Initiative, a loose alliance between Washington and three other prominent democracies in the region — India, Japan and Australia — that staged joint naval exercises in 2008. China saw the initiative as designed to create a security bloc to contain it, and in the interests of improving relations with Beijing, President Obama has declined to pursue it.

    Indian analysts believe Obama's foreign policy team mostly thinks of India in the context of other regional challenges, particularly the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. China, with its booming economy and position as America's primary creditor, now carries far more weight in U.S. calculations. "The ground reality is India at the moment does not count for the U.S. in the same way that China and Pakistan do," says Bahukutumbi Raman, a former top Indian intelligence official and head of the Centre for Topical Studies in Chennai.

    Part of the price for that new reality, many in India believe, is a downgrading of their own concerns. Singh will be in the U.S. on the anniversary of last year's Mumbai terror attacks, which were orchestrated by Pakistan-based groups with traditional ties to Pakistan's military intelligence organization, the ISI. But while Obama and his Afghanistan envoy, Richard Holbrooke, have urged India to make concessions on the decades-old Kashmir dispute in order to help Washington's efforts to persuade the Pakistanis to focus more resources on fighting the Taliban, little has been done to coerce Pakistan to crack down on extremist groups using its territory as a base for targeting India. The agenda for Singh's visit includes talks on boosting intelligence and counterterrorism efforts, but India remains unwilling to broach Kashmir with Pakistan until Islamabad demonstrates a commitment to crack down on jihadist groups in its midst.

    More troubling for the Indians than the Obama Administration's prioritizing of Afghanistan was a paragraph in the joint statement released during the President's Beijing visit: it welcomed Chinese involvement in South Asia and spoke of Beijing's ability to "promote peace, stability and development in that region." In New Delhi, this was read as a sign of U.S. acceptance of China viewing South Asia — India's neighborhood — as part of its own sphere of influence. Chellaney saw the statement as a "return to a kind of Cold War thinking where two great powers can dictate terms to a lesser one." China's long-standing border disputes with India, and its building up of the Pakistani military, makes many in New Delhi reluctant to welcome Beijing as a benign presence. Indeed, some fear India is being encircled by Chinese listening posts and bases around the Indian Ocean. And when tensions spiked last month over China pressing its claim to territory inside India, the U.S. remained silent.

    India's government insists there's room enough for both India and China to peacefully emerge as world powers, and Singh has made no complaints about the change in atmosphere in Washington. His visit, he insists, is simply an opportunity "to renew the partnership." It'll look to formalize elements of the nuclear deal penned last year, which grants India access to a range of technologies that it had previously been blocked from acquiring. Measures will also be taken to expand trade, promote educational links and boost cooperation on research into vaccines. The two sides are also expected to sound the right notes on climate change without making any substantial commitments.

    Despite their concerns about recent developments in the relationship, many in India are confident in their country's long-term ties with the U.S. More than 3 million people of Indian origin now live in the United States, while Indians comprise the biggest pool of foreign students in American universities and wealthy Indian professionals are creating an increasingly effective India lobby in Washington. "India may not be the top priority now," says Raman, "but there's no reason why it won't be in the future."
     
  12. NSG_Blackcats

    NSG_Blackcats Member of The Month OCTOBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Indian PM Manmohan Singh's US visit.

    More banquet, less politics - US coverage of PM's Visit​


    The US media, over the past few days, has covered the flair and panache of first state dinner hosted by President Barack Obama for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, more than the politics of the visit. Television and newspapers highlighted every aspect of the event including its dinner menu, guest list, decorations, the Naeem Khan designed dress worn by First Lady Michele Obama, and the toast made by President Obama where he said "Aapka Swagat hai" (you are welcome).

    The CNN channel covered the grand dinner for about two and half hours with the Prime Minister's visit being covered by Larry King who interviewed Khan–the designer of the dress and an intensive report in their morning show called American Morning - focusing on "why India is important to America".

    The New York Times that covered the dinner wrote that while the dinner had all the old traditions, "President Obama and his wife Michelle made sure to infuse the glittering gala with distinctive touches. "And the Obama's shook things up by serving, among other dishes, Indian food to an Indian delegation, typically a no-no," writes the daily, which scanned the menu for its website.

    The NY Times blog called the Caucus was constantly updated particularly during the joint press conference. However, the headlines for the blog piece read "Obama Plans Afghan Address Next Week," reflecting the lukewarm coverage of the more serious issues discussed between Washington and New Delhi. The Western media showed a limited interest on the big political questions on the table.

    Much of the news here was dominated by Obama's plan to announce his decision on the level of Afghan troops after Thanksgiving, and his declaration of going for the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference on December 9 on his way for the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo. Many newspapers offered a 'wrap up of events' kind of coverage including the short Wall Street Journal piece that led with the headline that both leaders "pledged to expand their countries' strategic partnership on issues ranging from counter-terrorism to global warming."

    Other pieces focused on Singh's remarks at the US-India Business Council (USIBC) and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFIR) on new areas of economic cooperation between the two countries, the calls for more investments in India, the nuclear-cooperation deal, and the deepening of relations between the two countries.

    Source
     
  13. NSG_Blackcats

    NSG_Blackcats Member of The Month OCTOBER 2009 Senior Member

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    This is one of the worst ever state visits by an Indian PM to United States. This state visit is more on hype and less on substance. Obama has some really nice words for India. But these were only lip service. The many important issues on which we did not hear much are:-

    •When will the Indo-US nuclear deal will be implemented?

    •US is more interested in Al Qaeda and Taliban. They are not interested in organization like LET, JEM etc.

    •US is looking for an exit policy for Afghanistan.

    •Trade and business relations between India-US

    •How Sino-US relationship is going to affect India?
     
  14. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    Manmohan Singh gets US assurances on terrorism, N-deal, China
    Indo-Asian News Service
    Washington, November 26, 2009
    First Published: 09:59 IST(26/11/2009)
    Last Updated: 11:12 IST(26/11/2009)

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrapped up a "very productive" state visit to the US with assurances of support from President Barack Obama on countering terrorism emanating from Pakistan, early completion of their landmark civil nuclear deal and allaying of concerns over Chinese role in South Asia.
    A day after he held wide-ranging discussions with Obama to forge a "defining partnership of the 21st century", Manmohan Singh told the media on Wednesday he was confident that India and the US will "not only continue but strengthen the momentum of relations built up over the past few years".
    At his first summit talks with Obama, Manmohan said they had agreed on the early and full implementation of their landmark civil nuclear deal.
    There were a "few minor problems" relating to an agreement on reprocessing of nuclear fuel, he said, adding: "I am confident that we can sort out these things in the next few weeks."
    Obama recognised the important role India-US relations can play in meeting the global challenges of the 21st century, he said: "We agreed that there is a historic opportunity for India and the United States to work together for world peace and stability on the basis of our shared values, consensus and cooperation."
    Terrorism and the situation in Pakistan dominated the discussions with the two countries signing a pact on counter-terror cooperation to advance global security.
    Manmohan Singh expressed appreciation for the US' support over investigations into the Mumbai attacks and its diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage to justice.
    "Obama was very conscious and aware of the threats both our countries face from terrorism, and the need for us to work together to combat it," he said. "We have agreed to strengthen cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism."
    On China, Obama assured him that a reference to South Asia in the joint statement issued after his visit to China last week "does not mean that third powers should interfere in the affairs of South Asia". He was "satisfied" on this count.
    The prime minister said he had discussed several ideas on how "we can work together to accelerate global economic recovery and put it on a more sustainable and balanced path in the future".
    Welcoming Obama's strong commitment to ensuring a comprehensive and balanced outcome at the climate change meeting in Copenhagen, he said: "We have agreed to work together bilaterally and with all other countries to ensure this outcome."
    India and US, he said, had "established a framework for taking our relations forward", stressing priorities for future collaboration in agriculture, education, health, clean energy and energy security, defence, science and technology.
    Referring to his "very good interaction with American business leaders", Manmohan Singh said they showed keenness to expand business with India. He in turn reaffirmed to them New Delhi's commitment to facilitate foreign investment in India and to pursue key reform measures.


    Manmohan Singh gets US assurances on terrorism, N-deal, China- Hindustan Times
     
  15. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    pomp, gaiety, galas, atmospherics and platitudes is what flatters indian leaders. so nothing new with MMS.
    it is high time GOI becomes hard nosed and engages in REALPOLITIK,
    something we can learn from chinese leaders.
     
  16. Quickgun Murugan

    Quickgun Murugan Regular Member

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    I thought the joint statement pretty much covered most of your topics raised. It is only during this press conference did Obama break his long silence regarding afganisthan.
     
  17. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    Paper no. 3520 25-Nov-2009

    INDIAN PRIME MINISTER’S VISIT TO UNITED STATES (NOVEMBER 2009) STRATEGICALLY REVIEWED

    By Dr. Subhash kapila.

    Introductory Observations

    Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's ‘State Visit’ to the United States was hailed as a momentous event in that the Indian Prime Minister was the first foreign dignitary to be hosted by President Obama in his first year of office.

    Going by the statements of President Obama and the Indian Prime Minister and especially the one made at the Joint Press Conference on November 24, 2009. the impression that one gets is that the Indian Prime Minister's visit to Washington has been high on symbolism but deficit in substantial strategic content.

    Retrospectively, it can be asserted that the Indian Prime Minister's visit should have been timed much later. Coming soon on the heels of President Obama’s sway through the Asia Pacific and his seeming deference to China and China’s strategic demands on the United States, the United States had nothing to offer to India in strategic terms.

    Reaffirmation by both leaders of the US – India Strategic Partnership is nothing new. It is a periodic affarmation made by leaders and officials of both nations.

    The US – India relationship was termed as the defining one for the 21st Century. On review, one fails to understand as how defining in global terms such an evolution will be if the emphasis by President Obama, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and the US Security of State (at a Luncheon) on areas of cooperation were spelt out as non-proliferation counter-terrorism, education development, trade, agriculture, science and technology, clean energy and climate.

    Surely India’s status as the regional power in South Asia and emergence as a global player cannot be sustained by a list of cooperation which is comprehensive but short in strategic and security content,

    The Indian Prime Minster stated he was very satisfied with his discussions with President Obama on the security issues that India raised. However, there was no strategic content or any alluding to strategic issues in the public statement of both leaders. The Indian Prime Minister may be satisfied, but India is not.

    While India's political pundits, economics czars scientific community (including those from agriculture) and cultural czars may draw comfort from the cooperation agenda spelt out, issues of vital strategic concern were omitted.

    Strategically reviewing the Indian Prime Minister's visit to Washington, the following aspects need to be examined:

    * United States Fails To Offer Strategic Assurances To India.
    * US – India Strategic Partnership: How Strategic?
    * India – US Civilian Nuclear Deal: Why The Delay?

    United States Fails to Offer Strategic Assurances to India

    In the few months preceding this US visit by the Indian Prime Minister, India's security environment has become even more embattled. The United States is not unaware that India's threat perceptions and attempts to strategically destabilize India arise from China and Pakistan. The United States is also aware that China’s collusive strategic nexus with Pakistan is the root cause for the South Asia instability.

    Lately China has resorted to more belligerent postures against India. Pakistan despite America’s much professed pressures on it, continues with her proxy war and terrorism against India.

    The India Prime Minister in the period preceding his visit USA and while in USA prior to his discussions with the US President stressed heavily on these issues. Surely, Indian concerns on these security issues would have stood projected in diplomatic discussions when finalizing the agenda for the leaders discussions.

    However, the Joint Press Conference was deafeningly silent on India's security concerns articulated as above. The only strategic reference that was made by President Obama was that the United States would not interfere or be a third party in the Kashmir issue. India in any case has never been ready to talk with third party mediators.

    Fully comprehending United States compulsions presently not to give any direct strategic assurances to India referring to China and Pakistan, the United States in its Joint Statement would have gained a lot of political mileage had President Obama chosen to assert the following:

    * United States Expects India To Maintain Peace And Stability In The Indian Ocean Region.
    * United States Would Appreciate A Greater Indian Strategic Role In South East And East Asia.
    * United States Recognizes That India Has Legitimate Strategic Interests In Afghanistan.

    Statements on such lines could have offset the damage done in India by President Obama’s utterances on South Asia in China and conceding China a role in South Asia.

    US – India Strategic Partnership: How Strategic Is It?

    Implicit on both sides, though not publicly articulated, was the fact that the conclusion of the US – India Strategic Partnership was prompted by China - centric concerns of both the United States and India. Implicit directly form the Indian side and an Indian signaling to the United States was the expectations that India by forging the US- India Strategic Partnership would gain US restraining influence on Pakistan.

    India's strategic expectations form USA, on both counts form the US- India Strategic Partnership which were critical to India's national security stand unattended by the United States.

    Nor are there any indications available that the coming unfolding of India – US relations hold much promise that the United States would contribute substantially towards dilution of India's threat perceptions on China and Pakistan.

    India – US Civilian Nuclear Deal: Why The Delay?

    This Deal was the center - piece of the US – India Strategic Partnership. The Deal was pushed through with great personal persistence by former President Bush despite a lot of resistance from vested interests un USA.

    The Obama Administration has been in office for close to a year now. At the Joint Press Conference. President Obama reaffirmed that his Administration stands committed to the Deal. If that be so, then why the delay? President Obama could have added the same impetus to the Deal as President Bush did.

    If it was being said then at the highest level in USA, that the aim of the Deal was to contribute to India's emergence as a global player and as a de-facto nuclear power and insure India's energy security, then how have any doubts arisen this year?

    Concluding Observations

    Asian security dynamics inevitability points in the direction that China is headed towards a domineering role in Asia. China on all accounts will attempt to impede India and Japan as the other rising Asian powers to emerge as global players. This will bring China into conflict with both India and Japan.

    Strategically, for United States continued embedment in Asia, it needs to decide that whether it could do so only with the help of China and discount India and Japan. The Indian Prime Minister’s current state visit to the United States and his summit level discussions with President Obama seem to be totally deficit in strategic content which could assure India that the United States in its policy formulations does indeed perceive an equal strategic role for India in Asian Security.

    (The author is an International Relations and Strategic Affairs analyst. He is the Consultant, Strategic Affairs with South Asia Analysis Group. Email: [email protected])

    Indian Prime Minister’s Visit To United States (November 2009) Strategically Reviewed
     
  18. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    ^^ MMS played his part excellently. Hope Obama has some sense knocked into him.
    Will find out the outcome of the visit only once Obama lays out his "grand" Afpak strategy in a few days.

    PS: Kudos to the Indian origin and pro-Indian journalists in US for playing a useful role in shaping public opinion in our favour.
     
  19. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    really! white house security what were you doing?

    Indo-Asian News Service
    Washington, November 26, 2009
    First Published: 13:30 IST(26/11/2009)
    Last Updated: 13:40 IST(26/11/2009)
    Reality show wannabes gatecrash Manmohan's state dinner​

    A couple of aspiring reality TV stars gatecrashed the state dinner hosted in honour of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House, clicked pictures with US Vice President Joe Biden and other guests and then posted them on their Facebook profile, US media said.

    A Washington Post report said: "Tareq and Michaele Salahi -- polo-playing socialites -- were seen arriving at the White House and later posted on the Facebook photos of themselves with VIPs at the elite gathering."

    "Honoured to be at the White House for the state dinner in honour of India with President Obama and our First Lady!" one of them wrote on their joint Facebook page.

    The newspaper said that the couple, both in their 40s, showed up about halfway through the guest arrivals Tuesday night.

    A Marine announced their names, and they -- he in a tuxedo, she in a striking red and gold lehenga (traditional Indian wear) -- swept pass reporters and photographers, stopping several times to pose for pictures.

    They then walked into the White House lower hallway, where they mingled with guests on the red carpet before heading up to the cocktail reception in the East Room, the Post said.

    The report said that the couple clicked pictures with Bollywood composer AR Rahman, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and with a grinning vice president.

    While the White House offered no official explanation, it appears to be the first time in modern history that anyone has crashed a White House state dinner.
    The uninvited guests were in the same room as President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, although it is unknown whether they met the Obamas and the guest of honour, the newspaper said.

    Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the Secret Service, said Wednesday: "Everyone who enters the White House grounds goes through magnetometers and several other levels of screenings. That was the case with the state dinner last night. No one was under any risk or threat."

    Donovan said a preliminary internal investigation identified "a Secret Service checkpoint which did not follow proper procedure to ensure these two individuals were on the invited guest list."

    An administration official said the White House will conduct its own review.

    The couple are reportedly in contention for roles on the forthcoming "The Real Housewives of Washington".

    HindustanTimes-Print
    © Copyright 2009 Hindustan Times
     
  20. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Indo-Asian News Service
    Washington, November 26, 2009
    First Published: 09:59 IST(26/11/2009)
    Last Updated: 11:12 IST(26/11/2009)
    Manmohan Singh gets US assurances on terrorism, N-deal, China​
    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrapped up a "very productive" state visit to the US with assurances of support from President Barack Obama on countering terrorism emanating from Pakistan, early completion of their landmark civil nuclear deal and allaying of concerns over Chinese role in South Asia.

    A day after he held wide-ranging discussions with Obama to forge a "defining partnership of the 21st century", Manmohan Singh told the media on Wednesday he was confident that India and the US will "not only continue but strengthen the momentum of relations built up over the past few years".

    At his first summit talks with Obama, Manmohan said they had agreed on the early and full implementation of their landmark civil nuclear deal.

    There were a "few minor problems" relating to an agreement on reprocessing of nuclear fuel, he said, adding: "I am confident that we can sort out these things in the next few weeks."

    Obama recognised the important role India-US relations can play in meeting the global challenges of the 21st century, he said: "We agreed that there is a historic opportunity for India and the United States to work together for world peace and stability on the basis of our shared values, consensus and cooperation."

    Terrorism and the situation in Pakistan dominated the discussions with the two countries signing a pact on counter-terror cooperation to advance global security.

    Manmohan Singh expressed appreciation for the US' support over investigations into the Mumbai attacks and its diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage to justice.

    "Obama was very conscious and aware of the threats both our countries face from terrorism, and the need for us to work together to combat it," he said. "We have agreed to strengthen cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism."

    On China, Obama assured him that a reference to South Asia in the joint statement issued after his visit to China last week "does not mean that third powers should interfere in the affairs of South Asia". He was "satisfied" on this count.

    The prime minister said he had discussed several ideas on how "we can work together to accelerate global economic recovery and put it on a more sustainable and balanced path in the future".

    Welcoming Obama's strong commitment to ensuring a comprehensive and balanced outcome at the climate change meeting in Copenhagen, he said: "We have agreed to work together bilaterally and with all other countries to ensure this outcome."

    India and US, he said, had "established a framework for taking our relations forward", stressing priorities for future collaboration in agriculture, education, health, clean energy and energy security, defence, science and technology.

    Referring to his "very good interaction with American business leaders", Manmohan Singh said they showed keenness to expand business with India. He in turn reaffirmed to them New Delhi's commitment to facilitate foreign investment in India and to pursue key reform measures.

    HindustanTimes-Print
    © Copyright 2009 Hindustan Times
     
  21. StealthSniper

    StealthSniper Senior Member Senior Member

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