Tuesday, Nov 12, 2002
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By Amit Baruah
Mr. Juster, who handles industry and security as part of his responsibilities, will be holding technical-level discussions with the Foreign Secretary on high technology cooperation and the general issue of export controls. His visit flows directly from the September 12 meeting between the Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, and the U.S. President, George W. Bush, in New York.
During this meeting, the two sides were focused principally on the bilateral agenda and India pushed for cooperation in the areas of space and high technology.
According to sources, "in theory'' there were no restrictions in place as far as high technology trade between India and the United States was concerned.
But, the issue of "regional stability'' (another way of balancing Indian and Pakistani "interests'') formed part of the backdrop when issues of high technology came up.
Also, U.S. concerns relating to nuclear and missile "proliferation'' remained. However, the sources pointed out that all high technology cooperation was to take place on a "case-by-case'' basis and "in theory'' there were no restrictions in place.
While entering into the discussions, the Indian side is interested in the "results'' that might emerge from the talks. They stressed that the talks with Mr. Juster would be of a "technical nature''.
Asked if India was interested in any "specific'' items for cooperation, the sources maintained that New Delhi was interested in establishing a "process'' whereby high technology trade could be facilitated.
In a separate development, the Foreign Office spokesman said that the Croatian President, Stepan Mesic, would be in India on a state visit from November 12 to 16. This will be the first-ever state visit by a Croatian President to India and will mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
He will also visit Agra, Jodhpur and Mumbai. Agreements on agricultural cooperation and export credit are expected to be signed between India and Croatia.
In response to a question, the spokesman said that India welcomed the U.N. Security Council resolution 1441, which provides for the disarmament of Iraq under the relevant U.N. resolutions passed earlier.
Iraq, he hoped, would comply with the new resolution and sanctions would be lifted in tandem with Iraqi compliance.
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