WASHINGTON: In their first summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama today pledged to push the bilateral relationship to "new levels", resolve issues blocking implementation of the civil nuclear deal and cooperate in counter terrorism.
During their hour-long discussions, which covered a broad range of issues including economic cooperation, trade and investment, Modi raised the demand for easier access to Indian services in the US.
After the two countries reached an agreement on extending their defence cooperation for ten more years, the Prime Minister invited American companies to participate in Indian defence manufacturing sector.
The discussions, the first formal meeting between the two leaders spread over delegation and restricted levels, covered terrorism in South Asia and emerging threats in West Asia.
At a joint media appearance with Obama, Modi expressed the hope that India-US relations will make fast progress.
"Both of us are committed taking forward the civil nuclear partnership agreement. We are serious about resolving at the earliest issues relating to civil nuclear energy cooperation.
This is important for India for meeting energy security needs," he said.
The Indo-US nuclear deal concluded between the previous Manmohan Singh government and the Bush Administration has been stalled because of issues relating to libality laws.
At the same time, Modi said that he had requested Obama to "take such steps which would ensure easier access to Indian companies in the service sector in the US market".
In the defence sector, the prime minister said both the sides decided to take forward the dialogue in security and defence.
He invited the US defence companies to participate in Indian defence manufacturing sector to help in its development.
India has recently raised the foreign investment cap in the defence sector from 26 to 49 per cent.
Sharing concerns over the threat of terrorism in South Asia and emerging challenges in West Asia, where Islamist group ISIS has been on the rampage, Modi said the two countries agreed to intensify cooperation in counter terrorism and intelligence sharing.
Obama said India was emerging as a major power for peace and security in the region.
Both of them had a candid discussion about WTO issues.
"India supports trade facilitation but it is my wish that a solution should take care of our food security concerns. I am sure that it is possible to do that early."
"I am looking forward to building up on relationship and make more progress," he said.
The President said the two leaders discussed various issues including trade and economic cooperation, cooperate in exploration of space and scientific developments especially to deal with challenges like Ebola.