Modi-Obama talks ‘extraordinarily successful’: US
Reviewing the talks for reporters, White House senior director for India Phil Reiner said they were “extraordinarily successful” and provided a boost to “re-energise the relationship”.india Updated: Oct 03, 2014 12:32 IST
The United States on Thursday described Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meetings with President Barack Obama earlier this week “extraordinarily successful”.
Continuing that momentum, and building on it, PM’s national security adviser Ajit Doval held talks with his counterpart Susan Rice and secretary of state John Kerry.
The US description of the talks echoed, in effect, Prime Minister Modi’s own assessment of his four-day tour of the US including his meetings with President Obama — as “very successful”.
Reviewing the talks for reporters, White House senior director for India Phil Reiner said they were “extraordinarily successful” and provided a boost to “re-energise the relationship”.
Assistant secretary of state Nisha Biswal, whose desk at the state department oversees relations with India, said she believed the the talks’ success had, in fact, “relaunched” the relationship.
The two officials underscored also the personal equation the two leaders had struck — the president of the United States doesn’t always give visiting leaders a tour to DC monuments.
President Obama accompanied Prime Minister Modi to the memorial of Martin Luther King, a leading influence on Obama, acknowledged by Modi in his gifts
Building on that success, Doval and Rice discussed “regional developments, including cooperating on maritime security” and “stability in Afghanistan”, according to the White House.
Observers have been struck by the recurring emphasis on cooperation on maritime security read with the mention of South China Sea disputes in the India-US joint statement.
The issue figured for the first time in an Indian-Us joint statement: “The leaders expressed concern about rising tensions over maritime territorial disputes, and affirmed the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight throughout the region, especially in the South China Sea.”
China wasn’t named, but every part of the above statement pointed to Beijing, and its spiking belligerence including efforts to enforce an Air Defence Identification Zone. India and the US also plan to police sea lanes through that region, as others near about, with, experts said, serious implications for relations with China.
Doval and Rice also agreed to work together to address Ebola in West Africa “and the spread of violent extremism, and looked forward to continuing close consultations in the future”.
With Kerry, Doval discussed “defence cooperation, international terrorism and terrorism finance, and law enforcement cooperation,” said the state department.
The two countries were still not willing to discuss their expanded counter-terrorism cooperations that made headlines in India, with D-Company put in the same category as LeT.
The India-US joint statement puts Dawood’s gang holed up in Karachi since carrying out the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts at the forefront of the CT kill-list of the two countries.