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Opening Remarks by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna at the Media Briefing at the Willard Intercontinental

Washington DC

I am in Washington DC to co-chair the third India-U.S. Strategic Dialogue with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As you know, the Strategic Dialogue is the principal platform to bring the different strands of the broad-based and diverse agenda of bilateral engagement and pursue the vision of India-U.S. Global Strategic Partnership, outlined by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama.

I was accompanied by Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Prime Minister’s Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation Advisor Sam Pitroda, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath, Minister of State for Planning, S&T and Earth Sciences Ashwini Kumar, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, Home Secretary R.K.Singh, Secretary for Science and Technology, Secretary for Higher Education Ashok Thakur, Director of Intelligence Bureau Nehchal Sandhu, and other senior officials. Secretary Clinton was joined by her ministerial colleagues and senior officials.

There were several dialogues on the margins of and preceding the Strategic Dialogue.

Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister for Human Resource Development, IT and Telecommunication, chaired the Higher Education Dialogue with Secretary Clinton on June 12. Minister for Science and Technology co-chaired the Joint Science and Technology Commission Meeting with Dr. John Holdren, President Obama’s Advisor on Science and Technology. Minister for Health and Family Welfare will co-convene with Secretary Clinton and UNICEF, a Call to Maternal and Child Care Action on June 14-15 in Washington, D.C.

A number of sub-dialogues were scheduled on the margins of this Strategic Dialogue, including the Global Issues Forum, Homeland Security Consultations, Strategic Intelligence Dialogue, the Counterterrorism Joint Working Group, Cyber Consultations, Information and Communications Technology Working Group, the Women’s Empowerment Dialogue, Dialogue on Health Cooperation and other events. .

I also delivered the key note address at the Annual Summit of the U.S.-India Business Council on 12 June 2012 in Washington DC.

Today, I had a restricted meeting with Secretary Clinton, during which we discussed key bilateral and regional issues. I also raised humanitarian dimensions of the Karie Shepherd case.

We then chaired the Plenary Session, which had discussions on five themes:

• Strategic, Defence, Homeland Security, Counter-terrorism and Intelligence
• Economic, Energy, Climate
• S&T, Innovation and Health
• Higher Education and Empowerment
• Regional Strategies and linkages

The Joint Statement issued today is reflective of the tangible and continuous progress that we are making in every field, including political and strategic consultations, defence, intelligence, counter-terrorism, homeland security, trade and investment, civilian nuclear energy, space, science and technology, agriculture, higher education and empowerment.