US NSA Jake Sullivan in India today for iCET initiative; to meet PM, Jaishankar

Sullivan also has a meeting scheduled with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval

sullivan US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan | Reuters

US National Security Adviser (NSA) Jake Sullivan will be in New Delhi on Monday for the second meeting of the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), the first significant meeting since the third NDA government came to power.  

Sullivan, accompanied by Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, will review the overall progress of the ambitious iCET initiative. He is also scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.

Sullivan's visit to India was discussed during a phone call between US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week. Biden called up Modi to congratulate him on his re-election for a third term.

"President Joseph R Biden, Jr spoke today with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to congratulate him and the National Democratic Alliance on their historic victory in India's general election," the White House said in a readout following the call.

The US NSA's visit comes after being postponed twice as the US administration had to focus on the Israel-Hamas conflict in West Asia.

What's on agenda

Topics that will be discussed include the progress made and the importance of the iCET mechanism for the two countries, the situation in West Asia and the ambitious India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC). This meeting will be followed by a joint statement between the two nations.

As for iCET, one of the key aspects of the initiative is the collaboration between India and the US in specific high-technology areas including semiconductors, next-generation telecommunication, artificial intelligence and defence. The meeting will also see a review of ongoing defence cooperation including an ambitious plan between US defence giant GE Aerospace and India's Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) to produce the advanced F414 jet engines for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

In August last year, the US Congress approved the agreement between GE Aerospace and HAL to produce the jet engines.

Both sides will also discuss the delay in the implementation of the ambitious India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) due to the Israel war.

The IMEC, which has been devised to counter China's Belt and Road Initiative, envisages a vast road, railroad and shipping networks among Saudi Arabia, India, the United States and Europe to ensure integration among Asia, the Middle East and the West.

The IMEC also envisages an electricity cable network, a hydrogen pipeline, high-speed data cable network to facilitate overall economic growth in the partner countries.


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