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Agreed Principles: Institutional Dialogue Between the United States and India

March 21, 2000

1. During the visit of President Clinton to Delhi in March 2000, President Clinton and Prime Minister Vajpayee agreed as part of their vision for the future relationship that a regular, wide-ranging dialogue is important for achieving the goal of establishing closer and multifaceted relations between India and the United States and for the two countries to work jointly for promotion of peace and prosperity in the 21st century. The two leaders agreed on a number of steps to intensify and institutionalize the dialogue between India and the United States.

2. The President of the United States and Prime Minister of India will hold regular bilateral 'Summits' in alternating capitals or elsewhere, including on the occasions of multilateral meetings, to review bilateral relations and consult on international developments and issues. They will remain in frequent contact by telephone and through letters.

3. The two countries will also hold an Annual Foreign Policy Dialogue at the level of the Secretary of State of the United States and External Affairs Minister of India. This dialogue will be broad-based and touch upon all aspects of US-India relations, including considering the work of other groups as appropriate.

4. The two countries also consider the ongoing Dialogue on Security and Non-proliferation between the Deputy Secretary of State of the United States and External Affairs Minister of India important for improving mutual understanding on bilateral, regional and international security matters. They agreed that this dialogue should continue and take place semi-annually or as often as considered desirable by both sides. The Principals of this dialogue will establish Expert Groups on specific issues as considered desirable and appropriate.

5. Foreign Office Consultations between the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States and Foreign Secretary of India will continue. The two leaders believe that close cooperation between the two countries is a factor of stability in the politically and culturally diverse and rapidly transforming Asia. A Dialogue on Asian Security will also be conducted as part of the Foreign Office Consultations. The two sides will also stay in close touch and consult on international democracy initiatives.

6. The two leaders consider combating international terrorism as one of the most important global challenges. They expressed satisfaction at the establishment of the Joint Working Group on Counter-terrorism and its productive first meeting in February 2000. They agree that the Joint Working Group should continue to meet regularly and become an effective mechanism for the two countries to share information and intensify their cooperation in combating terrorism.

7. The two leaders see an enormous potential for enhancement of economic and business relations between the two countries in the Knowledge Age. They decided to institutionalize bilateral economic dialogue. They will keep themselves informed and follow developments in the bilateral economic dialogue closely through a high-level coordinating group. The coordinating group will be led on the US side by the White House with the support of the State Department, and on the Indian side by the Prime Minister's Office with the support of the Ministry of External Affairs.

The Coordinating Group will develop a common economic agenda for and undertake preparations for the Heads of Government meetings. With broad inter-agency and inter-ministerial representations at senior official levels, it would convene regularly to facilitate close coordination on the various issues raised in the ministerial dialogues and ensure that discussions therein complement and reinforce broad economic and foreign policy objectives, including the deepening of bilateral cooperation on high technology and information technology issues.

US-India Financial and Economic Forum: The US Secretary of the Treasury and the Indian Minister of Finance will host a forum on finance and investment issues, macroeconomic policy and international economic developments at regular intervals. Their meetings at the ministerial level would be supplemented by sub-Cabinet meetings and involve, as appropriate, the participation of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Reserve, Council of Economic Advisors, and other officials of the US Government and the Securities and Exchange Board of India, Reserve Bank of India, and other officials of the Government of India.

US-India Commercial Dialogue: The US Secretary of Commerce and Minister of Commerce and Industry of India will lead a dialogue to deepen ties between the Indian and American Business communities. The dialogue will encompass regular government-to-government meetings to be held in conjunction with private sector meetings. Its aim will be to (a) facilitate trade, and (b) maximize investment opportunities across a broad range of economic sectors, including information technology, infrastructure, biotechnology, and services. Participation will include, as appropriate, representatives of other Cabinet agencies and ministries on both sides. Close contact will be maintained with business associations, and activities will be planned with the benefit of such private sector input, including the establishment of subcommittees to pursue specific projects or sectoral issues of mutual interest.

US-India Working Group on Trade: The United States Trade Representative and the Ministry of Commerce and other concerned Ministries/Departments of the Government of India will engage in regular discussion to enhance cooperation on trade policy. As appropriate, individual trade issues could be examined in greater depth with the participation of other agencies with corresponding responsibilities and through creation of subgroups. The Group will serve as a locus of consultation on a broad range of traderelated issues, including those pertaining to the World Trade Organization. The Group will receive inputs from the private sector (including trade policy issues identified in the US-India Commercial Dialogue) as appropriate.

8. The two leaders consider cooperation between the two countries in energy and environment an important part of their vision for the future. They have agreed to set up a Joint Consultative Group on Clean Energy and Environment. The Group will hold periodic ministerial/ high level meetings as desirable and appropriate and will lay emphasis on collaborative projects, developing and deploying clean energy technologies, public and private sector investment and cooperation, and climate change and other environmental issues. The Co-conveners of the Group will be the Department of State of the United States and the Ministry of External Affairs of India.

9. The two leaders believe that the strong scientific resources of the two countries provide excellent opportunities for scientific collaboration between them. They agree to set up a US-India Science and Technology Forum. The Forum shall promote research and development, the transfer of technology, the creation of a comprehensive electronic reference source for US-India science and technology cooperation, and the electronic exchange and dissemination of information on US-India science and technology cooperation, and other programs consistent with the previous practice of the US-India Foundation.

10. Institutional dialogue in other areas will be considered as mutually agreed.

NOTE: An original was not available for verification of the content of this joint statement.

William J. Clinton, Agreed Principles: Institutional Dialogue Between the United States and India Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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