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US NSA Jake Sullivan to visit India next week; Indo-Pacific, tech cooperation on agenda

Sullivan is expected to meet his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval for the annual iCET meeting on technology cooperation that was postponed in February. The top US official on national security recently said India-US relations have risen to new heights.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Washington Published on: April 12, 2024 15:04 IST
US NSA, Jake Sullivan, India visit
Image Source : AP US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

Washington: US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will arrive in India next week to "compare notes on the Indo-Pacific, talk about technology cooperation and meet his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval and others to take the India-US relationship to the next level. Sullivan is likely to meet Doval for the annual review meeting for the initiative on critical and emerging technologies (iCET) that was postponed in February.

US President Joe Biden's top national security aide will be in New Delhi on April 17 and is scheduled to have meetings on April 18. Sullivan would be in India next week “to celebrate elements of our bilateral relationship, compare notes on the Indo-Pacific, and also talk about the next steps in technology cooperation. We think these are all effective, prudent elements of taking the US-India relationship to the next level,” a senior White House administration official. 

Sullivan was to travel to India earlier in February but because of the global crisis in Ukraine and West Asia, the annual review meeting on iCET was rescheduled. The iCET was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Biden to facilitate outcome-oriented cooperation in new and emerging technologies. 

"I think if you ask the President, one of the things that he’s proudest of is his efforts to build a stronger relationship between the United States and India... I do believe, both in the Indo-Pacific and the Indian Ocean and on key issues like technology, the United States and India are working more closely together than ever before," said the official.

Sullvan's visit to take India-US relationship to next level

The White House official acknowledged that there may have been some "ambivalence and uncertainty" between the two countries in the past. "I see very little of that now. I see leaders on both sides who are all in on the promise and prospects of the other, recognise the potential of this relationship that is deeply supported by an activist diaspora community here, and technology and other firms who understand the potential of India," the official added.

The official also said that the US-India relationship is "trending substantially in a positive direction and that our level of engagement across every possible vector -- security, intelligence, technology, people-to-people -- has excelled". US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has told lawmakers that by bolstering the Indian military's capabilities, the two nations can work together to uphold a more stable balance of power across the wider Indo-Pacific region.

He also told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing this week on the annual budget of the Department of Defence that the militaries of the US and India are accelerating operational activities to boost maritime security in the Indian Ocean.

India-US relationship has risen to new heights: Sullivan

During a recent press briefing in the White House, Sullivan had said that the partnership between India and the United States has reached a new height with collaboration on technology and other fields. "The partnership between the US and India -- a country in BRICS -- has gone to new heights with an engagement across technology and security and so many other dimensions," Sullivan said.

Sullivan was responding to questions on the decline in American leadership in the world, in light of Iran, Egypt, UAE, and Ethiopia joining BRICS, and Saudi Arabia mulling over becoming part of it. "I think if you look at the US role and standing in its relationships across the key regions of the world, we feel very good about where we are," Sullivan said.

(with inputs from agencies)

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