Modi govt gets working ahead of US prez visit

  • Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 12, 2014 00:17 IST

With advance security liaison (ASL) team for US President Barack Obama’s trip, as the chief guest of 2015 Republic Day parade, arriving from Washington next week, the Narendra Modi government has started work on the bilateral agenda. A meeting of India-US CEOs Forum is expected to take place during the high-profile visit.

Co-chaired by Honeywell chairman David Cote and Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, the CEOs forum met last June in Washington to chart the bilateral course for cementing economic cooperation.

Dr S Jaishankar, the Indian ambassador to the US, flew to Washington after detailed consultations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Manohar Parrikar on the forthcoming visit.

While South Block sources said that Jaishankar will now engage the White House to work out the exact timing of the visit and the delegations accompanying the US president, diplomatic sources in Washington confirm that Obama will be accompanied by both a political and a business delegation. Already White House has sent out letters to US defence majors for consent to accompany President Obama.

It is, however, still not clear whether President Obama will be visiting a third country en-route to India or Michelle Obama is accompanying him.

The key items on the agenda will be identifying the transformative technologies that India needs under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), civilian nuclear cooperation, clean energy, climate change, strengthening linkage among economic institutions, infrastructure development and education.

There will be strengthening of cooperation on the internal security front with Washington being approached for mine resistant ambush protected vehicles and technology for interception of voice over internet protocol used by Pakistan based terrorist groups.

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