Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Modi of India After Bilateral Meeting
United Nations Headquarters
New York, New York
**Please see below for a correction, marked with an asterisk.
12:19 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, it is a great pleasure to meet once again with my good friend, Prime Minister Modi. Our meeting builds on the progress that was made during the wonderful visit that I was able to make to India, to the Prime Minister’s invitation, and the historic participation that I had with Republic Day. We’ve elevated our ties. We’ve committed ourselves to a new partnership between our two countries. And there’s been excellent follow-through on a whole range of issues.
Much of our discussion today focused on the upcoming climate conference in Paris. We agreed that this is a critical issue for the world; that all of us have responsibilities. We are encouraged by the aggressive nature of *President Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to clean energy. And what I indicated to the Prime Minister is that I really think that India’s leadership in this upcoming conference will set the tone not just for today but for decades to come. And I have great confidence in our ability to partner with other large countries, like China, and the European Union’s efforts in order for us to really solve this problem in a significant way that will help not just our people, but I think can actually be an engine of growth over the long term.
We also had a chance to talk about trade and investment, where our governments and business leaders met again last week to forge new partnerships to create jobs and opportunities for Indians and Americans. Prime Minister Modi has called on the Indian diaspora in the United States, which is very large and very successful, to contribute their talents to India’s progress. And that’s something that we welcome.
And we discussed how we can further refine our strategic vision -- our common joint vision moving forward for security and partnerships. And that encompasses everything from scientific exchanges and educational exchanges, to security cooperation and defense procurement. On all these issues, the Prime Minister has been an outstanding partner, and it reflects the fact that as the two largest democracies in the world -- or two of the largest democracies in the world, we have an opportunity to help to define a common set of principles that are consistent with what the United Nations believes and are consistent with what both India’s and the United States’ founders believed -- that governments are there to serve their people and to provide uplift and prosperity to everyone. And in my interactions with Prime Minister Modi, I have to say that those ideals are ones that he not only gives lip service to but he also acts on. And so we very much appreciate his friendship and his partnership.
PRIME MINISTER MODI: President Obama, members of the media, it is a great pleasure to meet President Obama in New York. Thank you for your hosting this meeting. I deeply value our friendship and your vision and commitment for the relationship between our two countries.
We have achieved significant progress in our bilateral cooperation and international partnership. I was in Silicon Valley over the weekend; I experienced the strength of American innovation and enterprise that provide the foundation of American success. I also the driving force of our relationship -- youth, technology and innovation -- and the natural partnership of Indian and Americans in advancing human progress.
California also reminds us that India and the United States are part of the dynamic Asia Pacific region. Many of the problems that world faces today and the global challenges that we see ahead, our partnership is a great significance for us and our world. We can apply innovation and technology by achieving sustainable development goals, including combatting climate change and conserving nature.
The President and I share an uncompromising commitment on climate change without affecting our ability to meet the development aspirations of humanity. We have both set ambitious national agendas. In India, our agenda includes not just a plan to have 175 gigawatt of renewable energy by 2022, but a development strategy that will enable us to transition to a more sustainable energy mix. This is an exercise we are undertaking in the spirit of our culture and tradition, but also because of our commitment to the future of this planet. Our extraordinary bilateral partnership in the energy sector focus on clean and renewable energy and energy efficiency.
I also thank President Obama for his positive response to my call for a global public partnership for developing affordable clean-energy source. And that will enable faster eruption of clean energy across the world. We should work together to advance the goal. And it is equally important to develop mechanisms to ensure that the affordable also become accessible to those who need it the most.
We look forward to comprehensive and concrete outcome in Paris with a positive agenda on combatting climate change which also focuses on access to finance and technology for the developing world, especially the poor countries and small island states.
I thank President Obama for the U.S. support for India’s permanent membership of a reformed U.N. Security Council. I also sought the U.S. support to complete the reform process within a fixed timeframe. I expressed our appreciation for continued U.S. support for India’s membership of the International Export Control Regimes within our targeted timeframe.
Our partnership addresses a broad range of strategic and security concerns. Our defense cooperation, including defense training, is expanding. As extremist terrorism threats grow and new ones emerge, we have resolved to further deepen cooperation on counterterrorism and radicalism.
We have just had a successful cybersecurity dialogue. We have agreed to further strengthen our consultation and cooperation on helping the Afghan people combat terrorism and build a peaceful, stable and prosperous future of their nation.
I welcome the progress in giving shape to our joint strategic vision on our Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean region, and also our joint engagement with regional partners like Japan. This will also strengthen our maritime security cooperation. To further increase our strategic engagement in the region, I look forward to work with the U.S. for India’s membership of Asian Pacific Economic Community.
Our economic partnership is a key driver of our relationship. I had an excellent meeting with business leaders in New York and San Jose. I’m very pleased with the confidence in India, and value their constructive feedback and suggestions. We will also continue to work towards a stronger bilateral framework of economic cooperation, including the Bilateral Investment Treaty and Globalization Agreement.
This meeting and my engagement in the U.S. demonstrate the extraordinary depth and diversity of our relationship. Our meeting today was very productive in advancing some of our immediate priorities and also our broader strategic partnership.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you.
12:29 P.M. EDT