US-India Ties: Modi-Trump Chemistry Apart, Washington Bets Massive On New Delhi (2017 In Retrospect)
New Delhi, Dec 25 (IANS) Though the private chemistry between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and new US President Donald Trump was the spotlight of India-US ties in 2017, what has come as an enormous enhance to bilateral relations towards the top of the year is the key strategic geopolitical position for India in the new US safety strategy.
At the same time, New Delhi made it clear that its international coverage stays independent when it went with the rest of the world in voting within the UN Normal Meeting in opposition to Trump’s resolution to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Despite a change of guard in Washington, the India-US global strategic partnership remained robust as ever and a heat hug marked the primary-ever assembly between Modi and Trump at the White Home in June this yr.
While Trump said that bilateral ties have “never been stronger”, Modi stated that both the countries had been “committed to such a bilateral structure that can take our strategic partnership to new heights”.
According to a joint statement, the 2 leaders “resolved to broaden gas regulator company and deepen the strategic partnership between the international locations and advance common objectives”.
“President Trump and Prime Minister Modi expressed confidence that, collectively, the United States and India will present sturdy leadership to address global challenges and construct prosperity for his or her citizens in the many years to return,” the assertion mentioned.
And that is precisely what bought mirrored in the brand new Safety Technique (NSS) that Trump announced this month that sees India being mentioned no less than seven instances.
“We welcome India’s emergence as a leading global energy and stronger strategic and defence accomplice,” the NSS states. “We will search to extend quadrilateral cooperation with Japan, Australia, and India.”
This comes within the wake of the meeting between officials of India, the US, Japan and Australia within the Philippines last month during which the security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific area had been discussed.
“We will expand our defence and security cooperation with India, a major Defence Accomplice of the United States, and help India’s growing relationships all through the area,” the NSS states.
It says that the US would “deepen our strategic partnership with India and help its management function in Indian Ocean security and throughout the broader region”.
And what’s going to come as music to New Delhi’s ears is the reference to Pakistan from the perspective of terrorism.
“We will press Pakistan to intensify its counter-terrorism efforts, since no partnership can survive a country’s assist for militants and terrorists who goal a partner’s own service members and officials,” the NSS states.
It additionally states that the US would encourage India to increase its economic assistance within the area.
Trump continued with his praise of Modi at the Asia Pacific Financial Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vietnam final month the place he said that the Indian chief was working to convey his nation and its individuals collectively.
Quickly after this, Trump and Modi again met on the sidelines of the ASEAN and East Asia Summits in the Philippines, a meeting that was described as “warm and productive”.
Modi-Trump bonhomie apart, excessive-stage visits continued between the 2 sides throughout the year.
After the Indian leader’s visit to Washington in June, both US Protection Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited India.
From the Indian aspect, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, then Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu and Minister for Petroleum and Pure Fuel Dharmendra Pradhan had been among those that visited the US.
One other spotlight of the India-US ties this 12 months was President Trump’s announcement of a brand new US policy on South Asia that referred to as for India taking part in a key role within the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
The appointment of Kenneth Juster as the new US Ambassador in New Delhi got here in for praise from all quarters. Juster is an previous India hand who played a key role in the India-US civilian nuclear cooperation agreement.
On its part, New Delhi, reflecting the government’s tendency of keeping faith in trusted folks in key diplomatic posts, prolonged by a year the term of Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna, who was to retire at November-finish.
One other spotlight was the visit of President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump to Hyderabad for the global Entrepreneurship Summit, hosted by India for the first time.
This year additionally saw a shipment of American crude oil arriving in India, marking the primary US oil export to India in greater than four many years.
On the draw back of the bilateral problem this yr, nonetheless, was the H1-B visa issue that continues to stay prickly.
Quickly after taking over as President, Trump referred to as for stricter norms for issuance of H1-B visas, largely availed of by gas regulator company Indian IT corporations. gas regulator company A personal member’s invoice was also launched earlier this year within the US Congress by Democrat Zoe Lofgren which seeks to extend the minimal wage of an H1-B visa holder to a whopping $130,000 from the current minimum of $60,000.
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