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India, US working on ''deliverables'' ahead of Bush visit

By Staff
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Washington, Feb 26 (UNI) The US and India are working hard to ensure that President George W Bush's visit to New Delhi from March 1 yields ''deliverables'' in all the areas in which the two countries agreed to cooperate with each other under the historic India-US Joint Statement of July last year.

Both sides were unwilling to give out details of the announcements that will be made during the visit, except to say that there would be several new initiatives launched, especially in the fields of economy, agriculture and science and technology.

In particular, the two sides are attaching great importance to the India-US Knowledge Initiative on Agricultural Education, Teaching, Research, Service and Commercial Linkages.

India acknowledges the pivotal role that the US played in helping it launch its Green Revolution and the new initiatives are expected to provide the momentum needed to re-energise India's agriculture universities and other research organisations.

It is in this context that President Bush plans to visit the agriculture university at Hyderabad during his visit to that city on March 3.

The Energy Dialogue and the Economic Dialogue between the two countries have moved forward in recent months. While the Economic Dialogue covers trade, finance, commerce and environment, the Energy Dialogue is discussing common action on oil and gas, coal, energy efficiency, new and renewable technologies and civil nuclear energy.

The India-US CEO forum set up in July last year has held some meetings and will present its recommendations to President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the US President's visit.

The two countries have also been discussing cooperation in Space and, in particular, the launch of two US instruments on India's moon mission, Chandrayaan I.

Other initiatives include the US-India Global Democracy Initiative to aid developing democracies, the Disaster Response Initiative and the HIV/AIDS Partnership.

A lot of work has also been done by the Information and Communications Technology Working Group and the High Technology Cooperation Group set up by the two countries.

India signed an Open Skies Policy with the US in April last year and the two countries signed a new framework for the US-India Defence Relationship two months later. In October, the two sides signed a framework agreement in Science and Technology that includes, for the first time, an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protocol.

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