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India and US to address barriers to trade and cooperation

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By Krishn Kaushik

NEW DELHI, June 17 (Reuters) -India and the United States on Monday committed to action to address barriers to bilateral strategic trade, technology and industrial cooperation.

The commitment was made at a meeting between the national security advisers of the two countries, Ajit Doval and Jake Sullivan, during Sullivan's two-day visit to New Delhi.

The U.S. and India are forging deeper strategic ties, with mutual concerns about an ascendant China in the Indo-Pacific region, even though India has maintained its close relationship with Russia despite its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Sullivan and his Indian counterpart chaired the second meeting of the India-U.S. initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology, which they launched in January 2023.

Without naming any country, a joint fact sheet of the meeting shared by the Indian government said Sullivan and Doval "resolved to prevent the leakage of sensitive and dual-use technologies to countries of concern".

They also launched a new strategic semiconductor partnership between U.S. and Indian companies for precision-guided ammunition and other national security-focused electronics platforms, it said.

They also agreed to co-invest in a lithium resource project in South America and a rare earths deposit in Africa "to diversify critical mineral supply chain" and committed to soon conclude a bilateral critical minerals pact for graphite, gallium and germanium.

Last year, during Modi's state visit to Washington, India had announced buying 31 MQ-9B drones from General Atomic, and the two countries had started discussions to jointly produce General Electric's GE.N fighter jet engines by Hindustan AeronauticsHIAE.NS in India, which is yet to be finalised.

Sullivan and Doval also discussed possible co-production of land warfare systems.

The visit is the first by a high-ranking U.S. official since Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to office with the help of allies as his party failed to win a majority.

Modi met U.S. President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Italy last week. Sullivan met Modi and Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar earlier in the day.

The relationship between Washington and New Delhi has been tested after the U.S. accused Indian government agents of plotting to murder a Sikh separatist leader on U.S. soil last year, after Canada made similar allegations. India dismissed the Canadian accusations, but initiated an investigation into the U.S. allegations.

The U.S. has extradited an Indian national from the Czech Republic, whom it has indicted for the foiled assassination plot.

There have also been some concerns raised about the treatment of minorities in India.

Reporting by Krishn Kaushik; Writing by Sakshi Dayal; Editing by Jan Harvey and Alison Williams


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