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Modi, Obama vow to 'Chalein Saath Saath'
Tuesday September 30, 2014 10:05 PM, Arun Kumar, IANS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama Tuesday vowed to "chalein saath saath - together we go forward" with a new agenda to realise the full potential of a renewed US-India partnership for the 21st century.

Modi Obama meet
[President Barack Obama of the United States welcomes Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the dinner hosted in his honour, at the White House, in Washington DC on September 30, 2014.]

"As nations, we've partnered over the decades to deliver progress to our people... Still, the true potential of our relationship has yet to be fully realised," they said in a joint op-ed piece published on the Washington Post website.

"The advent of a new government in India is a natural opportunity to broaden and deepen our relationship," the two leaders wrote ahead of their bilateral summit to reboot a stalled relationship.

The op-ed noted that their "partnership is robust, reliable and enduring, and it is expanding" involving more bilateral collaboration than ever, including between the two militaries, private sectors and civil society.

"Indeed, so much has happened that, in 2000, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee could declare that we are natural allies."

But, "It is time to set a new agenda, one that realises concrete benefits for our citizens," Obama and Modi wrote noting, "With a reinvigorated level of ambition and greater confidence, we can go beyond modest and conventional goals."

"This will be an agenda that enables us to find mutually rewarding ways to expand our collaboration in trade, investment and technology that harmonise with India's ambitious development agenda, while sustaining the United States as the global engine of growth," they said.

At their summit, the two leaders said they would discuss ways in which they can boost manufacturing and expand affordable renewable energy, while sustainably securing the future of our common environment.

Also on the agenda would be how their "businesses, scientists and governments can partner as India works to improve the quality, reliability and availability of basic services, especially for the poorest of citizens."

An immediate area of concrete US support is Modi's "Clean India" campaign, "where we will leverage private and civil society innovation, expertise and technology to improve sanitation and hygiene throughout India," the op-ed said.

"While our shared efforts will benefit our own people, our partnership aspires to be larger than merely the sum of its parts," they said.

"As nations, as people, we aspire to a better future for all; one in which our strategic partnership also produces benefits for the world at large," they wrote echoing India's philosophy of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbaa" or "the world is one family" outlined by Modi all through his trip.

"As global partners," the two leaders wrote they were "committed to enhancing our homeland security by sharing intelligence, through counterterrorism and law-enforcement cooperation, while we jointly work to maintain freedom of navigation and lawful commerce across the seas".

The two leaders said their health collaboration will help tackle the toughest of challenges, "whether combating the spread of Ebola, researching cancer cures or conquering diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and dengue".

They also intended to expand their "recent tradition of working together to empower women, build capacity and improve food security in Afghanistan and Africa".

"The exploration of space will continue to fire our imaginations and challenge us to raise our ambitions," they wrote noting that both countries having "satellites orbiting Mars tells its own story".

"The promise of a better tomorrow is not solely for Indians and Americans: It also beckons us to move forward together for a better world."

"This is the central premise of our defining partnership for the 21st century. Forward together we go -- chalein saath saath," they concluded.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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