At the start of official talks in New Delhi on the eve of India’s 65th Republic Day for which the US President Barack Obama is the first American President to visit India as Chief Guest, Prime Minister NarendraModi presented President Obama with the a reproduction of the telegram that had been sent by USA in 1946 to India’s Constituent Assembly which drafted the country’s Constitution. The goodwill message from the then US Secretary of State Dean Acheson had been read out at the inaugural sitting of the Constituent Assembly on December 9, 1946 andit was, in fact, the first thing that the Assembly did after electing its provisional chairperson. While the official record of debates of the Constituent Assembly is available online, the telegram was reproduced from the original volume of the report that was published in 1947. The gift folio from Prime Minister Modialso has an original commemorative postal stamp at the back that was issued by India on January 26, 1950 at the inauguration of the Indian Republic.
The Constituent Assembly held its first sitting on December 9, 1946, in the Constitution Hall that is now called the Central Hall in India’s Parliament. The Assembly took nearly three years to complete its historic task and held eleven sessions covering 165 days. The Assembly’s membership of 389 was reduced to 299 following the partition of the country upon independence on August 15, 1947. On August 29, 1947, the Assembly set up a drafting committee under the Chairmanship of Dr B R Ambedkar to prepare a draft Constitution. The Constitution was adopted on November 26, 1949 and the members of the Constituent Assembly appended their signatures to it on January 24, 1950. The Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950.
As the leaders of the world’s two largest democracies that bridge the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean region and reflecting our agreement that a closer partnership between the United States and India is indispensable to promoting peace, prosperity and stability in those regions, we have agreed on a Joint Strategic Vision for the region.
India and the United States are important drivers of regional and global growth. From Africa to East Asia, we will build on our partnership to support sustainable, inclusive development, and increased regional connectivity by collaborating with other interested partners to address poverty and support broad-based prosperity.
To support regional economic integration, we will promote accelerated infrastructure connectivity and economic development in a manner that links South, Southeast and Central Asia, including by enhancing energy transmission and encouraging free trade and greater people-to-people linkages.
Regional prosperity depends on security. We affirm the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region, especially in the South China Sea.
We call on all parties to avoid the threat or use of force and pursue resolution of territorial and maritime disputes through all peaceful means, in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
We will oppose terrorism, piracy, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction within or from the region.
We will also work together to promote the shared values that have made our countries great, recognizing that our interests in peace, prosperity and stability are well served by our common commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
We commit to strengthening the East Asia Summit on its tenth anniversary to promote regional dialogue on key political and security issues, and to work together to strengthen it.
In order to achieve this regional vision, we will develop a roadmap that leverages our respective efforts to increase ties among Asian powers, enabling both our nations to better respond to diplomatic, economic and security challenges in the region.
As part of these efforts, the United States welcomes India`s interest in joining the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, as the Indian economy is a dynamic part of the Asian economy.
Over the next five years, we will strengthen our regional dialogues, invest in making trilateral consultations with third countries in the region more robust, deepen regional integration, strengthen regional forums, explore additional multilateral opportunities for engagement, and pursue areas where we can build capacity in the region that bolster long-term peace and prosperity for all.
“Chalein saath saath; forward together we go”. Reflecting the close ties between our two great democracies, India and the United States agree to elevate our long-standing strategic partnership, with a Declaration of Friendship that strengthens and expands the relationship between our two countries
“Sanjha Prayaas, SabkaVikaas; Shared Effort, Progress For All”. Each step we take to strengthen the relationship is a step towards shaping international security, regional and global peace, prosperity and stability for years to come.
Signaling the natural affinity enjoyed by our two nations, this Declaration proclaims a higher level of trust and coordination that will continue to draw our Governments and people together across the spectrum of human endeavor for a
The India-U.S. Vision Statement endorsed in September 2014 committed our nations to a long-term partnership for prosperity and peace, through which our countries work together to make our citizens and the global community, safer and more prosperous.
The Declaration makes tangible and enduring the commitment of our two countries to harness the inherent potential of our two democracies, and upgrades the unique nature of our relationship, committing our Governments to work through
areas of difference.
Through this Declaration of Friendship and in keeping with our national principles and laws, we respect:
Equal opportunity for all our people through democracy, effective governance, and fundamental freedoms;
An open, just, sustainable, and inclusive rule-based global order;
The importance of strengthened bilateral defense ties;
The importance of adapting to and mitigating the impact of climate change through national, bilateral and multilateral efforts;
The beneficial impact that sustainable, inclusive development will have on our two countries and the world;
The centrality of economic policies that support the creation of strong and sustainable jobs, inclusive development, and rising incomes; and
Transparent and rule-based markets that seek to drive the trade and investment necessary to uplift all members of society and promote economic development.
As part of this Declaration of Friendship, we commit to:
Hold regular Summits with increased periodicity;
Elevate the Strategic Dialogue to a Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, of which the Strategic elements would continue to be chaired by the External Affairs Minister of India and the U.S. Secretary of State and the Commercial components of the Dialogue would be led by India’s Minister of Trade and Commerce and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. This reflects the United States` and India`s commitment to strengthen commercial and economic ties to advance mutual prosperity, regional economic growth and stability;
Establish secure hotlines between the Prime Minister of India and the President of the United States of America and National Security Advisors;
Cooperate to develop joint ventures on strategically significant projects;
Build meaningful security and effective counterterrorism cooperation;
Hold regional and multilateral consultations;
Consult and hold regular consultations in multilateral forums; and
Leverage the talents and strengths of our people to enhance sustainable, inclusive development around the globe.
It is a great pleasure and privilege to welcome back President Obama and the First Lady in India.
Mr. President, we are honoured that you accepted our invitation to be the Chief Guest for our Republic Day, despite a busy January.
It is special because on this day we celebrate the values shared by the world`s two largest democracies.
You are also the first United States President to visit India twice in Office.
It reflects the transformation in our relationship. It shows your deep personal commitment to this partnership.
It tells us that our two nations are prepared to step forward firmly to accept the responsibility of this global partnership – for our two countries and for shaping the character of this century.
The promise and potential of this relationship has never been in doubt. This is a natural global partnership. It has become even more relevant in the digital age. It is needed even more in our world of far-reaching changes and widespread turmoil.
The success of this partnership is important for our progress and for advancing peace, stability and prosperity around the world.
From the turn of this century, we have begun transforming our relationship. But, we have to convert a good start into lasting progress. This requires translating our vision into sustained action and concrete achievements.
Mr. President, in the last few months, I see new excitement and confidence in this relationship. I see renewed energy in our engagement. I thank you for your leadership and for setting the tone last September. The civil nuclear agreement was the centrepiece of our transformed relationship, which demonstrated new trust. It also created new economic opportunities and expanded our option for clean energy. In the course of the past four months, we have worked with a sense of purpose to move it forward. I am pleased that six years after we signed our bilateral agreement, we are moving towards commercial cooperation, consistent with our law, our international legal obligations, and technical and commercial viability.
President Obama has also assured me of strong U.S. efforts in support of India`s full membership of the four international export control regimes at the earliest.
Today, we have also decided to take our growing defence cooperation to a new level. We have agreed, in principle, to pursue co-development and co-production of specific advanced defence projects. These will help upgrade our domestic defence industry; and expand the manufacturing sector in India. We will also explore cooperation in other areas of advanced defence technologies.
We have renewed our Defence Framework Agreement. We will deepen our cooperation on maritime security.
Terrorism remains a principal global threat. It is taking on a new character, even as existing challenges persist. We agreed that we need a comprehensive global strategy and approach to combat with it. There should be no distinction between terrorist groups. Every country must fulfil its commitments to eliminate terrorist safe havens and bring terrorists to justice.
Our two countries will deepen our bilateral security cooperation against terrorist groups. And, we will further enhance our counter-terrorism capabilities, including in the area of technology.
President Obama and I agree that a strong and growing economic relationship is vital for the success of our strategic partnership. Economic growth in our two countries is becoming stronger. Our business climate is improving. This gives me great optimism about our economic ties.
In addition, we have established a number of effective bilateral mechanisms to identify opportunities and also help our businesses trade and invest more.We will also resume our dialogue on Bilateral Investment Treaty. We will also restart discussions on a Social Security Agreement that is so important for the hundreds of thousands of Indian professionals working in the United States.
For President Obama and me, clean and renewable energy is a personal and national priority. We discussed our ambitious national efforts and goals to increase the use of clean and renewable energy. We also agreed to further enhance our excellent and innovative partnership in this area. I asked him to lead international efforts in making renewable energy more accessible and affordable to the world. President and I expressed hope for a successful Paris Conference on climate change this year.
We will continue to deepen our collaboration in science, technology, innovation, agriculture, health, education and skills. These are central to the future of our two countries; and also give us an opportunity to help others around the world. Indeed, our strategic partnership will only be complete if we assume our responsibility to work together to promote development and connectivity in our vast region. President Obama and I agreed to pursue this goal with a sense of priority.
President and I had an excellent discussion on global and regional issues. In particular, we renewed our commitment to deepen our cooperation to advance peace, stability, prosperity in Asia, Pacific and Indian Ocean Region, which is critical for the future of our two countries and the destiny of this world.
Our relationship stands at a new level today. We have outlined a broad vision for our friendship and cooperation that reflects the opportunities and challenges of this century. As Lord Buddha said, noble friends and companions are the whole of the holy life.
We have decided to give this critical partnership a new thrust and sustained attention. For this, we have agreed that India and the United States must have regular summits at greater frequency. And, we will also establish hotlines between us and our National Security Advisors. At the beginning of this year, we start a new journey.
Let me welcome you once again, Mr. President. It is a great pleasure to have you with us.
India is a sovereign country. No pressure from any country or any person has any effect on it. But there is pressure. Pressure about what kind of earth we shall leave for our future generations. Climate Change itself is a very big pressure. Global Warming itself is a very big pressure. And whoever worries about the future generations, has a responsibility to be conscious about Climate Change; adopt practices and policies which will ensure a good life and good environment for future generations. I believe this pressure should be on every Government, every person. We understand and respond to the same pressure.
Reply to question on personal friendship with US President Barack Obama:
As far as our conversation is concerned, let it remain concealed. Why do we meet often in this fashion. This is a significant question. I am new to this field. But on the basis of my limited experience, I can say that the relationship between two countries depends less on commas and full-stops on paper. How much openness is there between leaders, how many opportunities do they have to get to know each other, how does the chemistry match, this is very important. When we interact away from cameras, we get to know each other intimately. I and Barack share that friendship. That openness helps us talk easily on phone, chat comfortably, and even talk in a lighter vein. This chemistry has brought Barack and me closer, Washington and Delhi closer, and the people of America and India closer. This is personal chemistry. I think this matters a lot. This should grow. It grows on occasions like this.