News / Asia

Kerry Looks to Strengthen Ties During India Visit

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waves as he boards his plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on his way to Doha, June 21, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waves as he boards his plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on his way to Doha, June 21, 2013.
Aru Pande
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is traveling to India next week to head the latest round of strategic dialogue between two of the world's largest democracies.

In a video message to India ahead of his trip, Kerry repeated President Barack Obama’s sentiment that the U.S.-India friendship is one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.

Kerry cited key areas of collaboration that are already taking place between the two countries. “From higher education to clean energy, from counterterrorism to space science, we are seizing new opportunities to work together, and in doing so, we’re increasing the prosperity and security of both our peoples," he said. "The U.S. and India share a strong enduring commitment to Afghanistan’s peace and prosperity.”

The secretary pointed growing bilateral trade, which he said has increased five-fold in the last decade to $86 billion in 2011.

But analysts said the U.S.-Indian relationship is not without its challenges.

While trade has increased in the defense sector, Washington has called for greater access for its goods to the Indian market.  For its part, New Delhi wants a friendlier U.S. immigration policy that will make it easier for highly skilled Indian workers to enter the American job market.

Former Indian ambassador and United Nations special envoy S.D. Muni said these issues are not new and must be worked through in order for the relationship to reach a higher level.

“The potential of Indo-US relations depends on all these legitimate concerns to be smoothened and harnessed, because in no way have the India and U.S. reached their full potential. In fact, Indian-Chinese trade is much more than Indo-U.S. trade and U.S.-Chinese trade is huge as compared to Indo-U.S. trade,” stated Muni.

A group of American lawmakers recently joined the National Association of Manufacturers and other U.S. business organizations in urging President Obama to take action against the Indian government for what they said are discriminatory trade practices.

In a letter to Obama, U.S. business groups refer to Indian court rulings, which they say have repeatedly ignored internationally recognized rights, including “denying, breaking, or revoking patents for nearly a dozen lifesaving medications.”
 
The Indian Supreme Court in April rejected pharmaceutical company Novartis’ attempt to patent a new version of a cancer drug - a landmark decision that allows Indian companies to continue making cheaper, generic versions of the medication.
 
Bharat Karnad with the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research said the issue will likely come up during next week’s strategic dialogue.  “The problem is, of course, the Indian court's ruling that in terms of life-saving drugs and medicines that the patent laws can be breached, because that is more important," he said. "[The court found] it’s more important to save lives than to ensure profits for American pharmaceutical concerns [companies]. That is a difficult issue, and I am not sure what the resolution is considering the stance that the Indian courts have taken.”
 
Karnad said the U.S. and India should focus on the bigger picture - and collaborate closely as both nations look to increase influence and investment in the Asia-Pacific.

The pivot towards Asia is one of the Obama administration’s key foreign policy initiatives, and India, for many years, has also had a “look East” policy.  Karnad recalls former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said during a 2011 visit to India that the South Asian nation should not just look East, but “engage East and act East.”

“If India were to do that and firm up its security cooperation with the Southeast Asian nations, with Taiwan, the Philippines and all those other countries, Vietnam in particular, and have the larger overarching structural link-ups with United States, Japan and the far-east -- then you have a very viable security architecture,” stated Karnad.

Kerry on Sunday travels from Doha to New Delhi, where he will give a policy speech. He chairs the fourth annual strategic dialogue and holds talks with Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid before heading to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mohanan from: Chennai
June 23, 2013 5:03 AM
Other than business deals, America and India can make rapid and vast changes in the world so that peace will prevail in the earth where we dwell on it. For example, lust on others land, encroachment, maritime insecurity, illegal demand of certain group of people and ultimately they becomes terrorists. Therefore, america and India along with allies should join hands and do all kinds of options.

by: Mohan from: Chennai
June 23, 2013 4:36 AM
Business relationship alone will not help both the countries to cement the relationship. There are many unresolved problems worldwide, which both U.S. and India can jointly solve. For example, maritime freedom, lust on others land, hierarchy, trying illegal domination over other countries etc. etc are the top most priority. America and India should jointly look into all those and solve it so that peace will prevail in earth.

by: Gary Zaetz
June 22, 2013 1:13 PM
On Thursday, Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake pointed out on the Facebook site for the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs that Secretary of State Kerry will be visiting India from June 23- 25. The announcement also asked visitors the following inane question: “Secretary of State John Kerry will be traveling to India this weekend. Can you recommend some foods he should try while he is there?” , rather than asking people what he thought he should actually do for the American people while he is there. Here is the response I posted to that site: “The American people, Mr. Blake, should be more concerned with what he will do to further American interests in India during his visit than anything as frivolous and unimportant as what he is going to be eating. For instance, I'm more interested in what he is going to do to get the Indian Government to finally allow expedited recovery of the remains of 400 American soldiers lost in India during World War II !!"...Gary Zaetz, nephew of 1st Lt. Irwin Zaetz, whose remains at his documented World War II crash site in India have not been permitted by the Indian Government to be recovered, in violation of US-India bilateral agreements and international humanitarian law.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More