US NSA to visit India on June 18 for iCET review | India News

5 Min Read

This will also be the first meeting between NSAs since the US indicted an Indian national for planning a hit on a Khalistan separatist

NEW DELHI: US NSA Jake Sullivan is likely to visit India next week for a meeting with his counterpart Ajit Doval in which they will undertake a comprehensive review of cooperation under the initiative on critical and emerging technology (iCET). The meeting was supposed to take place early this year but had to be postponed twice because of Sullivan’s preoccupation with the conflict in Gaza.
Sullivan is likely to meet Indian officials on June 18 in what will be the first high-level engagement between the 2 governments after the return of the NDA government under PM Narendra Modi.Indian officials are waiting for the US to formally announce the visit in a few days.
This will also be the first meeting between the NSAs since the US indicted an Indian national for planning a hit on a Khalistan separatist – a US national – claiming he did so at the behest of an Indian government official. The Washington Post revealed the identity of the official in a report last month.
Biden and Modi had launched iCET in May 2022 to expand strategic technology partnership, with focus on co-production and co-development, and defence industrial cooperation between the 2 countries. The meeting will see talks on plans under the same initiative to address regulatory barriers and develop a new defence industrial roadmap for joint development and production, including of jet engines. Talks are also expected on the progress in implementing the GE-HAL jet engine technology deal which is expected to see unprecedented transfer of technology from the US to India. The deal was announced during Modi’s state visit to the US last year.
However, Sullivan’s meetings here will also be closely followed for what he has to say on Khalistan separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun foiled murder-for-hire plot which can potentially turn into a major irritant in the relationship. The US is pressing India for action against the Indian official who allegedly masterminded the plot to eliminate Pannun, a US and Canadian national.
The 2 sides are expected to discuss progress in the probe that India is carrying out into the case since November last year, after having received information from the US. The Indian government maintains that it is investigating the leads shared by the US because these have a bearing on India’s own security. The US has also been pushing India to join the Canadian probe into the killing of another Sikh separatist last year near Vancouver.
A White House readout of President Joe Biden’s call with Modi last week had said they also discussed Sullivan’s upcoming travel to New Delhi to engage the new government on “shared US-India priorities, including the trusted, strategic technology partnership”.

Share This Article
Leave a comment