It has been a series of diplomatic and personal victories for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, currently on his fourth visit to the US. His meeting with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, June 7 – their seventh so far and perhaps their last since Obama retires in January – was done in a backdrop of major deals signed between the two countries.
India and the US signed eight agreements, including in the sphere of defense and energy cooperation and counter-terrorism after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama in the White House on June 7.
The agreement laid the foundation for exchange of terrorist screening information between the Multi-Agency Centre/Intelligence Bureau of India and the Terrorist Screening Center of the US under which the two sides shall “provide each other access to terrorism screening information through the designated contact points, subject to domestic laws and regulations”. The arrangement will enhance the counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries, said a statement.
A MoU to enhance cooperation on Energy Security, Clean Energy and Climate Change through increased bilateral engagement and further joint initiatives for promoting sustainable growth, was another notable agreement signed between the tow nations.
With a view to enhance co-operation in Wildlife Conservation and Combating Wildlife Trafficking in areas such as Wildlife Forensics and Conservation Genetics; Natural World Heritage Conservation and Nature Interpretation; and Conservation Awareness, India and the UIS signed an agreement.
Another MoU is between the Consular, Passport and Visa Division of India’s Ministry of External Affairs and US Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security for the Development of an International Expedited Traveler Initiative – the Global Entry Program, which is a US Customs and Border Protection program.
The program allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. After joint scrutiny and clearance by both countries, the approved Indian travelers will be extended the facility of expedited entry into the US through automatic kiosks at select airports, the statement said.
The fifth agreement is a Technical Arrangement between the Indian Navy and the US Navy concerning Unclassified Maritime Information Sharing that will allow sharing of unclassified information on White Shipping as permitted by respective national laws, regulations and policies, and provides a framework for mutually beneficial maritime information.
A MoU was inked between India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas ministry and the Department of Energy of the US for cooperation in Gas Hydrates. The MOU aims to increase the understanding of the geologic occurrence, distribution, and production of natural gas hydrates along the continental margin of India and in the US.
In defense cooperation, an Information Exchange Annex (IEA) was held between the Ministry of Defense and the US’ Department of Defense regarding Aircraft Carrier Technologies. The IEA is aimed to enhance data and information sharing specific to aircraft carriers between India and the US, it said.
The final one was a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement between the two defense ministries aimed at facilitating mutual logistic support between India and the US for port visits, joint exercises, joint training and HA-DR, notable among them are: humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.