President has said, rests on the solid foundation of shared values, shared interests, and an increasingly shared view of how best to promote stability, security, and peace worldwide.
The United States appreciates that India is a rising global power. Within the first quarter of the new century, its economy is likely to take its place among the world’s five largest. It will soon be the world’s most populous nation. Its demographic structure bequeaths it a huge, skilled, and youthful workforce. It also continues to possess a very large and ever-more-sophisticated military force that is expected to remain very strongly committed to the principle of civilian control.
India and the United States are natural partners in confronting the central security challenges of the coming generation. The first, Dr. Dobriansky noted, is to gain and preserve access to sufficient supplies of food, potable water, and energy. The second is to counter terrorism and the proliferation of chemical, biological, and nuclear technology; international crime and narcotics; HIV/AIDS; and climate change. On these and many other issues, the two nations’ interests converge.
A critical part of this blossoming relationship—discussed by President Bush and Prime Minister Singh during their March meeting—is the potential for cooperation in science and technology to improve people’s lives. Many of the two nations’ joint initiatives are based on this: the civilian nuclear initiative, the Agricultural Knowledge Initiative, the Bi-National Science and Technology Joint Commission, the clean energy initiatives, and the initiative to fight disease. Dr. Dobriansky proposed to highlight a few of these.
One of the most noted accomplishments of the President’s visit is the announcement of a plan for moving ahead with the U.S.–India Agreement on Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation. She called the plan to put the majority of India’s nuclear program under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards in perpetuity “truly an historic step forward.” The U.S.–India agreement would remove an important source of discord that has affected the two nations’ relationship for over 30 years, and at the same time enhance the international nuclear nonproliferation regime by bringing India further into its mainstream. It would also open up U.S.–India trade and investment in nuclear energy, thus helping India to meet its rapidly growing energy needs in a more environmentally friendly manner. The U.S.–India Energy Dialogue addresses other aspects of energy security by promoting the development of stable, affordable, and clean energy supplies.2 To make possible full, peaceful civil nuclear energy cooperation and trade with India, Secretary Rice and President Bush have committed themselves to working with Congress to change U.S. laws and with the United States’ friends and allies to establish an India-specific accommodation under Nuclear Suppliers Group Guidelines.
However, more than just the civilian nuclear initiative brings the two countries and peoples together. Prime Minister Singh has put economic reform at