Index

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

September 15, 2000



JOINT STATEMENT



Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Clinton today reaffirmed the
vision they outlined in March in New Delhi of a closer and
qualitatively new relationship between India and the United States in
the 21st century. They reiterated their conviction that closer
cooperation and stronger partnership between the two countries will be
a vital factor for shaping a future of peace, prosperity, democracy,
pluralism and freedom for this world. They acknowledged that this
vision draws strength from broad political support in both countries.


The two leaders agreed that the wide-ranging architecture of
institutional dialogue between the two countries provides a
broad-based framework to pursue the vision of a new relationship. They
expressed satisfaction at the pace and purposefulness with which the
two countries have initiated the consultations envisaged in the
dialogue architecture.


In particular, the two leaders are gratified by their recent exchange
of visits, and by the regular foreign policy consultations at the
ministerial and senior policy levels.


They expressed satisfaction at the role that the two countries played
in the launch of the Community of Democracies.


In the economic arena, they reaffirmed their confidence that the three
ministerial-level economic dialogues and the High-Level Coordinating
Group will improve the bilateral trade environment, facilitate greater
commercial cooperation, promote investment, and contribute to
strengthening the global financial and trading systems.


They welcomed the progress of the Joint Working Group on
Counter-Terrorism, and agreed that it would also examine linkages
between terrorism and narcotics trafficking and other related issues.
They noted the opening of a Legal Attache office in New Delhi designed
to facilitate cooperation in counter-terrorism and law enforcement.


The two leaders expressed satisfaction that the joint consultative
group on clean energy and environment met in July and agreed to
revitalize and expand energy cooperation, while discussing the full
range of issues relating to environment and climate change.


They welcomed the establishment of the Science and Technology forum in
July and agreed that the forum should reinvigorate the traditionally
strong scientific cooperation between the two countries. In that
connection, they noted the contribution of the two science and
technology related roundtable meetings held in March and September.


They also welcomed the recent initiatives in the health sector,
including the joint statements of June 2000, as examples of deepening
collaboration in improving health care and combating AIDS and other
major diseases of our time.


The two leaders agreed that India and the United States must build
upon this new momentum in their relationship to further enhance mutual
understanding and deepen cooperation across the full spectrum of
political, economic, commercial, scientific, technological, social,
and international issues.


During this visit, the two leaders had productive discussions across a
wide range of bilateral, regional, and international developments. In
the economic arena, they agree that India's continuing economic
reforms, as well as the two countries' complementary strengths and
resources, provide strong bases for expansion of economic ties between
the two countries. The two leaders recognized the need to deepen
cooperation on high-tech trade issues. They noted that the present
regime on e-commerce would be rolled over until the next ministerial
meeting of the WTO, and that the two countries would cooperate in
building a wider international consensus on information technology.
The two leaders pledged their joint commitment to bridge the digital
divide, both within and between countries, so that the benefits of
information technology may advance the economic and social development
of all citizens, rich and poor.


The two leaders expressed satisfaction with their agreement on
textiles. They also affirmed the need for expansion of bilateral civil
aviation ties and agreed to work toward this goal. They recognized the
contribution that biotechnology can make to a safe and nutritious food
supply, in offering new options to farmers to address problems of
pests and diseases, while contributing to environmental protection and
enhancing global food security. The governments of the United States
and India will explore ways of enhancing cooperation and information
exchange, joint collaborative projects and training of scientists in
agriculture biotechnology research. The ongoing vaccine research would
be further strengthened also, making use of genomics and
bioinformatics. The governments of both the United States and India
support science-based regulatory activities.


They also noted significant progress on other important economic
issues including mutual taxation and investment in the power and other
sectors. In regard to double taxation issues, the competent
authorities of both sides intend to soon negotiate an arrangement
under which collection or recovery of tax will generally be suspended
on a reciprocal basis, during pendency of a mutual agreement
proceeding. To ensure sustainable economic growth that will lift the
lives of rich and poor alike, the two leaders committed support for
efforts that will make capital markets more efficient, transparent,
and accountable to attract the billions in private investment that is
needed.


They recognize the need for appropriate technology for power
generation, and the importance of greater South Asian regional
cooperation and trade in energy, as well as the development and
application of clean technologies that address our respective problems
of urban and water pollution. The leaders noted with satisfaction the
signings of several major commercial agreements, under which U.S.
firms will contribute to the development of the power industry in
India.


The United States and India intend to harness their cooperation in
emerging scientific and economic sectors into a partnership for
defining new ways of fighting hunger, disease, pollution, and other
global challenges of our time. The two leaders pledged their strong
commitment to address the global challenge of the prevention and
control of HIV/AIDS through the close involvement and cooperation
between the governments and civil society in the two countries. They
expressed support for the collaborative program for research in
various areas, including HIV/AIDS vaccine development, through the
Joint Working Groups of scientists envisaged by the Joint Statement of
June 2000. They agreed to encourage the formation of a business
council to combat HIV/AIDS with the active involvement and
participation of business and industry to raise awareness in the
industrial workplace.


The two leaders discussed international security. They recalled the
long history of Indo-U.S. cooperation in UN peacekeeping operations,
most recently in Sierra Leone. The two leaders agreed to broaden their
cooperation in peacekeeping and other areas of UN activity, including
in shaping the future international security system. The two leaders
also discussed the evolving security environment in Asia, recalling
their common desire to work for stability in Asia and beyond. They
agreed that the Asian Security Dialogue that the two countries have
initiated will strengthen mutual understanding.


The two countries reaffirmed their belief that tensions in South Asia
can only be resolved by the nations of South Asia, and by peaceful
means. India reiterated its commitment to enhancing cooperation,
peace, and stability in the region. Both sides stressed the
unacceptability of continued violence and bloodshed as a basis for
solution of the problems of the region.


The United States and India seek to advance their dialogue on security
and nonproliferation issues, building upon the joint statement signed
during President Clinton's visit to India in March. They reiterated
their respective commitments to forgo nuclear explosive tests. India
reaffirmed that, subject to its supreme national interests, it will
continue its voluntary moratorium until the Comprehensive Test Ban
Treaty (CTBT) comes into effect. The United States reaffirmed its
intention to work for ratification of the Treaty at the earliest
possible date. The Indian government will continue efforts to develop
a broad political consensus on the issue of the Treaty, with the
purpose of bringing these discussions to a successful conclusion.
India also reconfirmed its commitment not to block entry into force of
the Treaty. India expects that all other countries, as included in
Article XIV of CTBT, will adhere to this Treaty without reservations.
The United States and India reiterated their support for a global
treaty to halt the production of fissile material for weapons
purposes, and for the earliest possible start of Fissile Material
Cutoff Treaty negotiations in Geneva. The United States noted its
moratorium on the production of fissile material for weapons purposes
and supports a multilateral moratorium on such production pending
conclusion of a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty. The United States and
India commended the progress made so far on export controls, and
pledged to continue to strengthen them. Both countries agreed to
continue their dialogue on security and nonproliferation, including on
defense posture, which is designed to further narrow differences on
these important issues.


In combating international terrorism, the two leaders called on the
international community to intensify its efforts, including at the
current session of the United Nations. Noting that both India and the
United States are targets of continuing terrorism, they expressed
their determination to further reinforce bilateral cooperation in this
area. They have agreed to hold another round of counter-terrorism
consultations in New Delhi later this month, and to pursue work on a
Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.


Finally, the two leaders also paid tribute to the contributions of the
Indian-American community in providing a bridge of understanding
between the two societies and in strengthening the ties of commerce
and culture between the two countries. In this connection, they
commended the progress of the initiative to set up a collaborative
Global Institute for Science and Technology in India. The two leaders
agreed to encourage people-to-people connections between the two
nations, and to enlist the cooperation of all sections of their
talented and diverse societies in support of that goal.