The United States on Monday decided to relax its export controls of high-tech equipment to India, particularly in the defence and scientific areas, while agreeing to push New Delhi's membership in some key strategic multilateral institutions and work closely toward global energy security.
The formal announcement came during a joint press conference addressed by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama after their one-on-one meeting here at the Hyderabad House, followed by delegation-level talks.
"We welcome the decision by United States to lift controls on export of high-tech items and technology to India and support India's membership in mutililateral control regimes such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)," Manmohan Singh said.
"This is a manifestion of the growing trust and confidence in each other. We have also agreed on steps to expand our cooperation in space, nuclear and defeence and other high-end sectors."
On his part, the US president said the major trade deals announced in Mumbai on Saturday, worth some $15 billion, was an important step in elevating India to one of America's top trade partners.
"We agreed to keep working to reduce trade barriers and protectionism. We are already implementing nuclear-civil agreement," he said, adding other areas of cooperation included new partnerships in climate change, counter-terrorism and homeland security.
The prime minister said specific initiatives will also be launched in the area such as health, agriculture, establishment of a global disease detection centre in India, as also an agreement on weather forecasting.
"In my discussion with the president, we have decided to accelerate the deepening of our ties and our work as equal partners to strengthen our relationship that will positively and decisively influence world peace, stability and progress," the prime minister added.