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Press Briefing by the Ministry of External Affairs on Prime Minister Vajpayee's visit to the United States

New Delhi
July 25, 2000

I. A press release was issued on the official visit of Prime Minister to USA from 15-17 September 2000.

II. Giving details of the follow-up on President Clinton’s visit to India in March this year, the spokesperson said:

The India-US Financial and Economic Forum was constituted during the visit of Finance Minister to Washington in April.

The India-US Commercial Dialogue was constituted by Minister of Commerce and Industry and US Commerce Secretary during the visit of President Clinton in March.

The High Level Co-ordinating Group for Indo-US Economic Dialogue has been constituted on the Indian side.  The US has yet to communicate membership of the High Level Co-ordinating Group on the US side.

External Affairs Minister met US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on 26th June in Warsaw, where both were participating in the Meeting of the Community of Democracies.

Mr. Thomas Pickering, US under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, visited India on 24-25 May for the Foreign Office Consultations and the Asian Security Dialogue, with Foreign Secretary.  Extensive consultations were also held on Sri Lanka, Fiji and Sierra Leone.  The next meeting is scheduled in September before PM’s visit.

The second meeting of the Joint Working Group on Counter-terrorism will be held in September 2000 in Delhi.  In April, the two sides met in Washington to discuss the Indian Draft UN Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism.  The US has supported the Comprehensive Convention in G-8.

Discussions were held in May in Washington on Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.

An Export Control delegation from the USIS is expected soon to discuss training in licensing and enforcement areas.

The Joint Consultative Group on Energy and Environment will hold its first meeting on July 26-28 in Washington.

The Science and Technology Forum has been set up.

III. In response to questions, the spokesperson said the following:

India has comprehensive and overall engagement with USA on a regular basis in various areas particularly since the visit of US President to India earlier this year.