Focus on strategic technology and defence cooperation as Sullivan begins India visit

New Delhi:  US National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan began his two-day visit to India on Monday as both countries take the next steps in strategic technology and defence cooperation during the third term of the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Delighted to welcome US NSA Jake Sullivan in New Delhi today morning. A comprehensive discussion on a broad range of bilateral, regional and global issues. Confident that India-US strategic partnership will continue to advance strongly in our new term,” External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar posted on X after he met Sullivan.

The US NSA then met his Indian counterpart, India’s NSA Ajit Doval as both top security officials, who had met in Italy on the sidelines of the G7 Summit last week, carried on their discussions on a range of strategic, regional, and bilateral issues, including the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET).

Sullivan’s visit also establishes once again that India will continue to perfectly walk a tightrope of diplomacy, a hallmark of the Modi government, and engage with various countries to promote its interests.

The US NSA has arrived in India after attending and addressing the Peace Summit on Ukraine hosted by Switzerland over the weekend.

India also attended the event but did not associate itself with any communique or document emerging from the Summit.

Sullivan had visited New Delhi almost around the same time last year, meeting PM Modi, EAM Jaishankar and NSA Doval as both countries unveiled a roadmap for cooperation at a stakeholder event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on advancing India-US iCET partnership just ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s landmark visit to Washington.

Both NSAs have acknowledged that the iCET unveiled by PM Modi and US President Joe Biden in May 2022 will play a defining role in deepening the strategic partnership between the two countries.

“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 US and India. And I do believe, both in the Indo-Pacific and the Indian Ocean and on key issues like technology, the US and India are working more closely together than ever before,” a senior US administration official said in April, this year.

“And I would simply say that I think 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,” he added.

During his visit to Washington in June 2023, PM Modi had also hailed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on semiconductor supply chain and innovation partnership as a significant step in the coordination of both countries’ semiconductor incentive programmes.

A few months later, another MoU on ‘Enhancing Innovation Ecosystems through an Innovation Handshake’ under the framework of India–US Commercial Dialogue was signed between the two countries on November 14, 2023, in San Francisco.

At the same time, the India-US Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X) continues to facilitate joint defence technology innovation and co-production of advanced defence technology between the industries of the two countries.


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