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January 13, 2004
New Delhi

Statement by Prime Minister on Next Steps in Strategic Partnership with USA

In November 2001, President Bush and I committed our countries to a strategic partnership. Since then, our two countries have strengthened bilateral cooperation significantly in several areas. Today we announce the next steps in implementing our shared vision.

India and the United States of America agree to expand cooperation in three specific areas: civilian nuclear activities, civilian space programmes, and high technology trade. In addition, we agree to expand our dialogue on missile defence. Cooperation in these areas will deepen the ties of commerce and friendship between our two nations, and will increase stability in Asia and beyond.

The proposed cooperation will progress through a series of reciprocal steps that will build on each other. It will include expanded engagement on nuclear regulatory and safety issues and missile defence, ways to enhance cooperation in peaceful uses of space technology, and steps to create the appropriate environment for successful high technology commerce. In order to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, relevant laws, regulations and procedures will be strengthened, and measures to increase bilateral and international cooperation in this area will be employed. These cooperative efforts will be undertaken in accordance with our respective national laws and international obligations.

The expanded cooperation launched today is an important milestone in transforming the relationship between India and the United States of America. That relationship is based increasingly on common values and common interests. We are working together to promote global peace and prosperity. We are partners in the war on terrorism and we are partners in controlling the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them.

The vision of India-US strategic partnership that President Bush and I share is now becoming a reality.