At White House, Modi vows anti-ter­ror­ism ef­fort

Trump: In­dia al­liance ‘has never looked brighter’

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY S.A. MILLER

Pres­i­dent Trump and In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi made a show of friend­ship-at-first-sight in their ini­tial face-to-face meet­ing at the White House on Mon­day, vow­ing en­hanced mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion and in­tel­li­gence shar­ing in the global fight against ter­ror­ism.

The lead­ers of the world’s two largest democ­ra­cies ap­peared to brush aside dis­agree­ments over trade, im­mi­gra­tion and cli­mate change to forge a strate­gic al­liance that they said would bol­ster se­cu­rity and pros­per­ity in both the U.S. and In­dia.

In a joint state­ment de­liv­ered in the Rose Gar­den, Mr. Trump called the U.S.In­dia se­cu­rity part­ner­ship “in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant.”

“Both our coun­tries have been struck by the evils of ter­ror­ism, and we are both de­ter­mined to de­stroy ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions and the rad­i­cal ide­ol­ogy that drives them,” the pres­i­dent said. “We will de­stroy rad­i­cal Is­lamic ter­ror­ism.”

In­dia has been a solid ally in U.S.-led anti-ter­ror ef­forts, in­clud­ing play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant role in re­build­ing Afghanistan. But Mr. Trump wants more from In­dia, from bat­tling Is­lamic State to con­fronting North Korea, and pos­si­bly greater in­volve­ment in the dis­puted South China Sea.

Mr. Trump noted that In­dia would be join­ing the U.S. and Ja­pan in the largest ever naval ex­er­cise in the In­dian Ocean.

“The fu­ture of our part­ner­ship has never looked brighter,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Modi touted the en­hanced strate­gic part­ner­ship, both mil­i­tary and eco­nomic, that he said would touch ev­ery facet of hu­man en­deavor.

“The top pri­or­ity for both Pres­i­dent Trump and my­self [is] to pro­tect our coun­tries from global chal­lenges such as ter­ror­ism,” he said. “Our aim is the strength­en­ing of In­dia and the USA, two great democ­ra­cies in the world.”

Turning to Mr. Trump, he said: “I am sure that, un­der your lead­er­ship, our mu­tual strate­gic part­ner­ship will gain new strength, new pos­i­tiv­ity and will reach new heights.”

The two men did not an­nounce a ma­jor deal dur­ing the Rose Gar­den event, al­though Mr. Trump said a deal on sell­ing U.S. en­ergy to In­dia was in the off­ing.

Mr. Trump joked that they were “try­ing to get the price up a bit” to close the deal on nat­u­ral gas.

An­other deal in the works is U.S. au­tho­riza­tion for In­dia to buy a naval vari­ant of the Preda­tor drone for sur­veil­lance mis­sions. It would be a ma­jor ex­pan­sion of the mil­i­tary and in­tel­li­gence co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries that be­gan un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

“On ter­ror­ism, they are on the same page,” said Di­nesh Sharma, an In­dia scholar at the In­sti­tute of Global Cul­tural Stud­ies at New York’s Bing­ham­ton Univer­sity. “In­tel­li­gence shar­ing, that’s one of the big driv­ers.”

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion also moved to demon­strate the de­sire to in­crease co­op­er­a­tion with In­dia.

Just hours be­fore Mr. Modi ar­rived at the White House, the State De­part­ment an­nounced that the leader of an anti-In­dia mil­i­tant group in the Kash­mir con­flict was added to the list as a

Co­op­er­at­ing in the fight against cli­mate change had been a cen­tral part of the U.S.-In­dia re­la­tion­ship un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, but the is­sue was rel­e­gated to the back burner Mon­day dur­ing Pres­i­dent Trump’s meet­ing with In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi.

In Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Modi’s re­marks in the Rose Gar­den, en­ergy and cli­mate change were all but ab­sent other than a brief men­tion of U.S. nat­u­ral gas ex­ports to In­dia, which the pres­i­dent said he fully sup­ports and hopes to fi­nal­ize quickly.

The meet­ing came less than a month af­ter Mr. Trump an­nounced the U.S. would with­draw from the Paris cli­mate ac­cord, a deal In­dia signed onto af­ter prod­ding by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion and other world lead­ers. In­dia is one of the world’s top pol­luters, and the world com­mu­nity views con­tain­ing the coun­try’s emis­sions as cru­cial to the ef­fort to stop global warm­ing.

Un­like his pre­de­ces­sor, who of­ten

Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist.

The des­ig­na­tion of Syed Salahud­din, also known as Mohammad Yusuf Shah, as a ter­ror­ist and the ac­com­pa­ny­ing fi­nan­cial sanc­tions amounts to a ma­jor win for In­dia in a decades­long dis­pute with Pak­istan over Kash­mir.

Mr. Salahud­din is a se­nior leader of the mil­i­tant group Hizbul Mu­jahideen. touted joint ef­forts be­tween the U.S. and In­dia to fight cli­mate change, Mr. Trump skirted the is­sue en­tirely Mon­day, in­stead fo­cus­ing on how Amer­ica can ex­port fuel, tech­nol­ogy and ex­per­tise to the de­vel­op­ing coun­try of more than 1 bil­lion peo­ple.

“We’re also look­ing for­ward to ex­port­ing more Amer­i­can en­ergy to In­dia as your econ­omy grows, as well as ma­jor long-term con­tracts to pur­chase Amer­i­can nat­u­ral gas, which are right now be­ing ne­go­ti­ated and will be signed,” the pres­i­dent said.

An­a­lysts say Amer­ica’s exit from the Paris agree­ment doesn’t mean that In­dia will aban­don its ef­forts, even though in­ter­na­tional pres­sure from the U.S. has been lifted by Mr. Trump’s de­ci­sion to with­draw from Paris.

As part of its com­mit­ment un­der the land­mark in­ter­na­tional deal, In­dia promised to re­duce the emis­sions in­ten­sity of its gross do­mes­tic prod­uct by at least 33 per­cent by 2030 when com­pared to 2005 lev­els. In an even more am­bi­tious vow, the coun­try said it will aim to get 40 per­cent of its electric

In Septem­ber 2016 he vowed to block any peace­ful res­o­lu­tion to the Kash­mir con­flict, threat­ened to train more Kash­miri sui­cide bombers and turn the Kash­mir val­ley “into a grave­yard for In­dian forces.”

Un­der Salahud­din’s ten­ure as se­nior group leader, Hizbul Mu­jahideen has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for sev­eral power from non­fos­sil fuel sources by 2030.

On the lat­ter part of its goal, spe­cial­ists say In­dia is well on its way, and could ac­tu­ally hit the tar­get much sooner, though some spe­cific pieces of its com­mit­ment are con­tin­gent on in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial aid — aid that is now in ques­tion with­out U.S. par­tic­i­pa­tion in Paris.

Still, an­a­lysts be­lieve that In­dia sees nat­u­ral gas and re­new­able fuel such as wind and so­lar power as cen­tral to its long-term en­ergy fu­ture, and that Mr. Modi and other lead­ers view a greener en­ergy sec­tor as both ben­e­fi­cial to the planet and to its own eco­nomic growth.

The U.S. exit from Paris, they say, doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean In­dia will sud­denly pull back from its com­mit­ments, and pur­su­ing those tar­gets is likely to ben­e­fit the coun­try in the long run.

“There’s too many na­tional in­ter­ests in­volved to think that … be­cause one large en­tity moved out [of Paris] that they’re go­ing to move out, too,” said Tom Sanzillo, di­rec­tor of fi­nance at the

at­tacks, in­clud­ing an April 2014 at­tack in In­dian-ad­min­is­tered Jammu and Kash­mir that in­jured 17 peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to the State De­part­ment.

The move is aimed at but­tress­ing In­dian sup­port for the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s broader ef­fort to de­feat rad­i­cal Is­lamic ter­ror­ism.

“It vin­di­cates In­dia’s long­stand­ing In­sti­tute for En­ergy Eco­nom­ics and Fi­nan­cial Anal­y­sis.

Eigh­teen months af­ter sign­ing on to the Paris agree­ment, In­dia is al­ready out­pac­ing its an­nual tar­gets in in­stalling new wind power gen­er­a­tion. While it’s clear that coal will con­tinue to play a large part in the coun­try’s devel­op­ment — the coun­try’s coal pro­duc­tion is up dur­ing the first five months of the year — the coun­try also is in­vest­ing heav­ily in re­new­able fu­els and has shown signs that such spend­ing will con­tinue years into the fu­ture.

With lit­tle in the way of di­rect co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the U.S. and In­dian gov­ern­ments on fight­ing cli­mate change, spe­cial­ists say the fu­ture of the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship on en­ergy could come from U.S. busi­nesses ex­port­ing its goods and tech­nol­ogy, par­tic­u­larly from the wind and so­lar sec­tors.

“That enor­mous drive for re­new­able en­ergy in In­dia — there are enor­mous op­por­tu­ni­ties for the U.S. pri­vate sec­tor to en­gage in that,” said Paula Ca­ballero, global di­rec­tor of the cli­mate pro­gram at the World Re­sources In­sti­tute.

po­si­tion that cross-bor­der ter­ror­ism is be­hind the cri­sis cre­ated in Kash­mir, es­pe­cially since last year,” said In­dian ex­ter­nal af­fairs spokesman Gopal Baglay. “It un­der­lines strongly the fact that both In­dia and the U.S. face the threat of ter­ror­ism and are work­ing to­gether to counter this threat. Ter­ror­ism knows no bound­aries.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pres­i­dent Trump and In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi made state­ments in the Rose Gar­den of the White House Mon­day in which the two lead­ers re­newed vows to fight Is­lamic ex­trem­ism and in­crease mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion. “We are both de­ter­mined to de­stroy ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions and the rad­i­cal ide­ol­ogy that drives them,” Mr. Trump said.

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