India-US ties imbued with a bigger purpose: Foreign Minister S Jaishankar

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U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman with India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar during recent visit to India. Photo Twitter @MEAIndia

Redefining the contours of India-US ties, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday, October 7, 2021, focused upon five Ts – tradition, technology, trade, trusteeship, talent and four-member Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) at the US-India Business Council (USIBC) India Ideas Summit. Speaking at the summit, Jaishankar said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi described our ties in terms of five things – tradition, technology, trade, trusteeship and talent. The tradition of course is one of our democratic values and ethos. This has not only brought our people much closer but has helped create a powerful bridge between our societies.”

He also talked about the first in-person summit of Quad. “A fortnight ago we saw the first in-person meeting between PM Modi and US President Joe Biden, this was followed by the first in-person Quad summit. These meetings provided an opportunity to not only refresh our ties but give them an updated relevance,” said Jaishankar at the USIBC India Ideas Summit.

Appropriately the outcome document after the bilateral discussions was titled ”partnership with global good”.

“We are focused on a relationship that has not only steadily expanded but is now consequential enough to be imbued with a bigger purpose. As stakeholders let us reflect on how to take that forward,” said Jaishankar.

Expressing the importance of five Ts, he said, “In many ways, it is a basis for a sixth ”T”, that of trust. The technology ”T”, is something we all know very well. At one level it is an expression of the creative urges of both our societies. It is equally a powerful driver of business between us. Not least, it has been the reason for deepening the connection of our two nations.”

Further explaining talent, Jaishankar added, “An increasingly a domain for us to work closely with the rest of the international community. The technology ”T”, of course, derives directly from the talents ”T”. we have both encouraged our best minds to freely address the challenges of our contemporary era.”

In that process, both US and India have generated ideas, innovations, and products that have transformed the nature of lives.

Talking on trade, the EAM said, “Consequently, the next ”T” that of trade has flourished between us. The quality of commerce between India and the US testifies both to the progress of our respective societies and indeed to our deeper partnership. In business as much as in strategy, we are endeavoring to overcome the hesitations of history.”

Jaishankar also cautioned that while keeping trade in mind, the importance of the environment should not be ignored.

“All of this has to be conducted keeping in mind the long-term future of our environment, therefore the relevance of trusteeship ”T”, a conviction in the well-being of our planet and in securing it for future generations,” he said.

This outlook of 5 ”Ts” permeated both the bilateral summit and that of the Quad. Both US and India have reaffirmed the principles on which the societies are organised and agreed to cooperate to nurture a way of life.

Jaishankar said that India is the only G-20 nation in line to meet its Paris Agreement commitments.

“When it comes to technology, the significance of trusted partners is very much in evidence. Trade discussions focused strongly on the need for reliable and resilient supply chains. With COP 26 round the corner, India is the only G-20 nation in line to meet its Paris Agreement commitments made the case for our sustainable future,” he added.

“In a world where creativity and mobility have acquired a growing salience, the importance of the flow of talent was recognized including through fellowships. What is noteworthy about our conversations is that they have gone well beyond general arguments and are now expressed as specific initiatives of programs,” added Jaishankar.

He also gave recent examples of partnerships between the Quad countries.

“Consider some of the recent developments – the most pressing challenge that of COVID-19 has been met through a Quad initiative which taps into the strengths of each of the participants. The climate action concern is addressed amongst others through the US-India climate and clean energy agenda 2030 partnership,” said Jaishankar.

“The relevance of advanced technologies is captured by Quad initiatives ranging from AI, 5G and beyond to critical minerals, space and blockchain. Our trade potential is being more aggressively explored bilaterally through the trade policy forum and in a larger group through additional supply chains,” he added.

“The importance of infrastructure is similarly being discussed in terms of high quality and market viable initiatives. The people-centric nature of our activities is affirmed in education, innovation, R&D, and mobility,” Jaishankar declared.

Jaishankar also said that Quad countries have been working together on the issue of terrorism, pandemics or climate change.

“When it comes to defense and security all are relevant. On many of the big challenges of the day terrorism, pandemics or climate change our thinking is along parallel paths. We not only work together on global issues but are dedicated to the well-being of the global commons that provides the basis for coordinated action,” said Jaishankar.

 

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