Biden to Visit India in July, Singh Heads to US Later in the Year

Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid with US Secretary of State John Kerry in New Delhi on June 24, 2013

Must read

Washington, DC – US Vice President Joe Biden, along with Dr. Jill Biden, will visit India and Singapore in late July 2013, according to a communique from the White House Monday (June 24).

The White House described the upcoming visit to India as one where the Vice President “will meet with key leaders to discuss the full range of bilateral, regional and global issues, with a focus on advancing the prosperity, security, and shared values of our two countries.”

“The Vice President and Dr. Biden look forward to opportunities to engage with India’s people, including leaders in business and civil society,” said the statement about the visit, which was also announced in New Delhi by the US Secretary of State John Kerry during his visit this week to India.

Addressing a joint press conference along with the host Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, visiting Secretary Kerry said that after the fourth year the of the India-US Strategic Dialogue, India and the US were “powerful economies” and were poised to “set a new standard for cooperation”.

Kerry and Khurshid, aiming to give a fresh momentum to bilateral ties before the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits the US later this year, announced a September target for signing a commercial agreement between the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, Ltd. and US energy major Westinghouse Electric Company.

Addressing a wide range of issues, Kerry allayed India’s fears about US attempts to negotiate with the Taliban, and called for a greater role for Delhi in talks about the Afghanistan peace process and negotiations with Iran. “The secretary has said he will ensure that none of the concerns of India are overlooked or undermined,” said Indian Minister Khurshid.

Moreover, the United States and India reaffirmed that economic collaboration between both governments and private sectors “is a keystone of our deepening partnership.” With business ties leading the way in achieving a nearly fivefold increase in bilateral trade since 2000, today the annual two-way trade is more than $100 billion, while total two-way foreign direct investment is nearing $30 billion. “These developments are drivers of innovation, economic growth, and job creation for both of our nations,” the two delegations noted.

After the fourth US-India Strategic Dialogue, officials announced that trade, energy, education, defense and security cooperation were the areas discussed during the meetings.

Dismissing concerns raised by the Indian media that US snooping programs like PRISM, recently disclosed by alleged leaker Edward Snowden, worked against India’s interests, Secretary Kerry explained the issue was the result of a great deal of miscommunication about US monitoring of emails or phone calls.

Kerry emphatically denied that civil liberties were being violated and insisted that they were protected by checks and balances. “Regretfully, we live in a world that’s more dangerous, because some people prefer to kill people than enter the political system,” Kerry said, adding, “There is a balance in this world we live in.” 

More articles

Latest article