Jimmy Carter photo

Visit of Prime Minister Desai of India Joint Communiqué.

June 15, 1978

At the invitation of President Jimmy Carter, the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Morarji Desai, paid an official visit to the United States of America between June 9-15, 1978.

In the talks the Indian participants were:

Morarji Desai, Prime Minister, Government of India

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India

N. A. Palkhivala, Ambassador of India in Washington

V. Shankar, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister

J. S. Mehta, Foreign Secretary, External Affairs Ministry and others

The American participants were:

Jimmy Carter, President of the United States of America

Walter Mondale, Vice President of the United States of America

Zbigniew Brzezinski, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Warren Christopher, Acting Secretary of State of the United States of America

David Aaron, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Robert Goheen, Ambassador of the USA to the Republic of India

and others

President Carter and Prime Minister Desai held extensive and useful talks in a spirit of mutual confidence, candor and friendship. They agreed that there has been a significant improvement in bilateral relations over the past year, marked by a comprehensive exchange of correspondence between them and President Carter's visit to India in January 1978. This should be continued and deepened, building upon the common principles enunciated in their Joint Declaration signed in New Delhi in January 1978. 1 They also had a broad exchange of views on major international issues of common concern and reviewed the current situation in South Asia. The views of the two sides reflected wide areas of agreement on the issues discussed.

1 The text of the declaration is printed on page 17 of this volume.

Prime Minister Desai and President Carter devoted special attention to questions of world peace. They agreed that world peace can only be assured through effective measures to halt the arms race, particularly in the nuclear field, including the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons and their ultimate elimination. The Prime Minister welcomed the progress being made in CTB and SALT negotiations, as described by the President. They called for a stronger and more effective role for the United Nations in the field of disarmament, and emphasized their active support for the Special Session on Disarmament of the United Nations General Assembly.

The President and the Prime Minister agreed on the urgent need to find a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the problems of the Middle East. It should be based on Israel's withdrawal from territories occupied as a result of the 1967 war, respect for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, and steps to ensure the independence, territorial integrity and security of all states of the region.

The President and the Prime Minister reviewed developments in Africa and agreed that peace, racial equality, stability, and economic development with particular attention to the needs of the individual, were essential elements of their policies toward the continent. They agreed that African problems should be solved without outside intervention which can aggravate regional conflicts and inhibit their resolution.

The President and the Prime Minister agreed that the Ethiopia-Somalia conflict should be resolved by peaceful means, respecting the legitimate aspirations of the peoples of the region within the framework of territorial integrity and in conformity with the principles of the Charters of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity.

The President and the Prime Minister expressed support for the legitimate aspirations of the African peoples to self-determination and majority rule and they condemned racism in all forms. They reaffirmed the inalienable right of the peoples of Zimbabwe and Namibia to sovereignty and independent development and the necessity of ensuring a rapid transfer of power to the African majority, in the spirit of pertinent United Nations resolutions.

The President and the Prime Minister reviewed the situation in South Asia and the recent events in Afghanistan. They expressed the hope that while preserving their independent personalities, stability, trust and beneficial cooperation among the countries of the region would continue.

The President described the state of talks between the USA and USSR on the stabilization of their military presence in the Indian Ocean. The Prime Minister expressed the hope that these discussions would continue and result in the eventual removal of all great power military presence in the Ocean.

The President and the Prime Minister had extensive and highly useful discussions on the Indo-U.S. Nuclear Cooperation Agreement and statutory requirements affecting the continued supply of enriched uranium from the United States. They discussed measures to ensure nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, including appropriate universal means of ensuring that nuclear energy is not misused for military purposes. They agreed that the dialogue between the two countries will continue. President Carter pledged to make every effort consistent with American law to maintain fuel supplies for Tarapur and continue nuclear cooperation with India.

The President and the Prime Minister noted with satisfaction the development of economic exchanges between their two countries, and agreed that there is potential for expanding them substantially. President Carter noted that Commerce Secretary Kreps would visit India later this year to explore that potential.

The President and the Prime Minister welcomed the initiative of the India-U.S. Business Council in implementing a program designed to promote and facilitate cooperation between Indian and U.S. commercial organizations in construction and engineering projects in third countries. The President noted that the International Executive Service Corps would be assigning a highly qualified, retired American businessman to New Delhi this fall to pursue this important Business Council project.

The President and the Prime Minister welcomed the successful conclusion of negotiations for an Indo-U.S. understanding providing for concessions under the Tropical Products Group of the Multilateral Trade Negotiations as an indication of their mutual desire to contribute to a dynamic and open world trading system. They agreed on the desirability of fighting protectionism and working toward a more open and fair global trading system through a successful conclusion to the Multilateral Trade Negotiations. They also agreed on the need for close consultations in these final stages of the negotiations. It was also agreed that contributions from developing countries should not be inconsistent with their individual development, financial and trade needs. They took note of the recent steps taken by India to liberalize foreign trade.

Prime Minister Desai and President Carter reviewed the relations between the world's industrialized and developing nations. They favored further exchanges of views between senior officials from the United States and India, as well as from other developed and developing countries. Through such exchanges both developed and developing countries can improve their understanding of their common interests and responsibilities in the equitable operation of the global economic system.

The President and the Prime Minister expressed satisfaction on the progress of discussions between the two governments on joint projects in agricultural research, extension and education. They also welcomed the progress made on the design of joint projects in the area of solar technology and expressed the hope that they would be speedily implemented.

Prime Minister Desai met with members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The talks showed a mutual desire to deepen understanding between the two countries and peoples.

The President and Prime Minister expressed their satisfaction at the results of their talks and agreed to continue the bilateral dialogue through future meetings and correspondence as well as through regular official-level consultations and within the India-U.S. Joint Commission.

Prime Minister Desai also visited New York, California, and Nebraska.

Prime Minister Desai expressed his warm thanks to President Carter for the friendly and hospitable reception extended to him throughout his visit which is the natural expression of the friendship and shared values of the American and Indian peoples. He was particularly pleased that his tour took him to both coasts of the United States and included the opportunity to visit a working farm in the American mid-West.

Jimmy Carter, Visit of Prime Minister Desai of India Joint Communiqué. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/248686

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