A close relationship between the United States and India is beneficial not only to the two strategic partner countries, but will promote security, prosperity, and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and the world as a whole. Since India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office last May, high-level cooperation between the two countries has accelerated at an unprecedented pace.
Prime Minister Modi’s historic visit to Washington in September was quickly followed by President Barack Obama’s attendance in January as Prime Minister Modi’s Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day Parade, becoming the first sitting U.S. President to visit India twice.
Speaking during a joint press conference, President Obama said that “a strong relationship with India is critical for America’s success in the 21st century.”
“Part of the reason we’re such natural partners is because we share values -- as former colonies; as the two largest democracies in the world; as entrepreneurial nations; as people who believe in the freedom and dignity and worth of all individuals. And so it’s not surprising then that we have a friendship, because hopefully we’re reflecting the values of our peoples.”
Indeed, said President Obama, “We agreed that our trade and economic partnerships must focus on improving the daily lives of our people.”
This idea is enshrined in the India-U.S. Delhi Declaration of Friendship, one of three documents issued by the two leaders during President Obama’s visit.
In the Declaration of Friendship, the two countries pledged to respect, among other things, equal opportunity for all our people through democracy, effective governance, and fundamental freedoms; an open, just, sustainable, and inclusive rule-based global order; the centrality of economic policies that support the creation of strong and sustainable jobs, inclusive development, and rising incomes; and transparent and rule-based markets that seek to drive the trade and investment necessary to uplift all members of society and promote economic development.
Reflecting on the importance of the U.S.-India strategic partnership, President Obama said, “It’s clear from this visit that we have a new and perhaps unprecedented opportunity, and deepening our ties with India is going to remain a top foreign policy priority for my administration.”