Continuing with their deepening ties, India and US will hold their first Strategic Dialogue next week and will discuss a plethora of issues, including the security situation in the region and cooperation in countering terrorism.
The Strategic Dialogue, to be held on June 3 in Washington, will cover 18 sectors, including energy and climate change, education and development, strategic cooperation and science and technology. The Indian side will be led by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna while US will be represented by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Strategic Dialogue will focus on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues of shared interest and common concern. It would give direction to the programmes currently under implementation and take initiatives to further the Indian and US developmental, security and economic interests, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said here on Sunday.
The two sides will discuss the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the issue of continuing support of terror groups by Islamabad is also expected to come up at the dialogue which will also lay the ground for President Barak Obama’s visit to India in November.
Interestingly, the dialogue will take place at a time when Indian investigators will be in the US to question David Coleman Headley.
It (the dialogue) will focus on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues of shared interest and common concern. It would give direction to the programmes currently under implementation and take initiatives to further the Indian and US developmental, security and economic interests, Prakash said.
The dialogue will be based on the joint statement that was issued after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Obama in Washington in November. Currently our interaction, our exchanges, our dialogue is being undertaken in eighteen areas comprising of five pillars of cooperation, under the Strategic Dialogue. These are: strategic cooperation; energy and climate change; education and development; economic, trade and agriculture; and lastly science, technology, health and innovation, the spokesperson said.
The two sides will also seek to operationalise the Obama-Singh Knowledge Initiative that aims at increasing University linkages, faculty exchanges and cooperation in the education sector. Talks will also be held on ways and means to increase cooperation in agricultural research, human resource capacity development and natural resource management.
The Indian delegation will include HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao. From the US, National Security Adviser James Jones, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be present.