Rice Interview by Doordarshan Television
Interview by Amitabha Chakrabarti of Doordarshan Television
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
July 15, 2005
(7:45 a.m. EDT)
MR. CHAKRABARTI: Welcome to our studios, Secretary Rice.
SECRETARY RICE: Thank you.
MR. CHAKRABARTI: In the context of the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister, Mr. Manhohan Singh to the U.S., I'd like to ask you what are the issues that are likely to be taken up during the visit?
SECRETARY RICE: We have made a lot of progress in U.S.-Indian relations over the last few years. This is turning into a very important relationship for both countries. The United States recognizes India's rise as a modern democracy, multiethnic democracy, and we welcome India's enhanced role in international affairs. So we will talk about the full range of issues: economic cooperation; we have had recently between our defense ministers discussions of defense cooperation; we will talk about the energy needs of both sides because, obviously, growing economies need energy that is clean and protects the environment but also permits growth; and of course, we will talk also about the common values that we share as large democracies.
MR. CHAKRABARTI: That's fine. Now, this Indo-U.S. bilateral cooperation is upbeat and it is often said it has never been so good as it is now. Now that both the countries are on the threshold of the next steps in strategic partnership, how do you assess -- it was introduced in 2004, about 18 months down the line -- how do you assess the progress in these three areas now?
SECRETARY RICE: I would assess the progress as very good. We have already finished one phase and a second phase and we are now seeing conformance of laws and statutes to make possible the kind of cooperation that we need to have. We have had, for instance, high-technology and space cooperation that I think was stalled, but we are starting to make a lot of progress in that area. And of course, we also look forward to further discussions of how we can move forward in energy cooperation and in further high-technology cooperation. So I think it's been a very good last few years. I had a very good visit to India earlier in the year. My counterpart, Foreign Minister Singh, was here and we are very much looking forward to Prime Minister Singh's arrival here in Washington next week.
MR. CHAKRABARTI: In the field of military cooperation, there has been a quantum jump, you know, you see in the last 50 years; in the last five years or so, it has been spectacular. I mean, what is the roadmap further? Would India become the Indo-U.S. joint production hub, the defense industry sector in future? That is one growing area.
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think we don't know yet what the evolution of this relationship will be. We still have a lot to work on because the defense cooperation relationship, as you have just said, is relatively new. But we are making a lot of progress. We are delighted that we have some potential for the purchase of high-technology equipment. We are delighted that we are going to participate in the bid for high-performance aircraft in India. And so this defense cooperation relationship is going along very well and I know that we will have military-to-military exchanges. I know that my colleague, Don Rumsfeld, was very pleased to have his counterpart here and I also met with your Defense Minister. So this is a relationship that is well underway. I think we will have to see where the future leads us, but it is well underway.
MR. CHAKRABARTI: Well, you agree that it is a really promising area, you know, this. Now coming to a common issue, that is, you know, since 9/11 the entire West has realized the menace called international terrorism. Actually, the entire (inaudible) leadership was huddled in Gleneagles on the day of the terror attacks in London. What concrete steps do you visualize as a direct consequence of this London blast? How do you also visualize India's role in this context of Indo-U.S. cooperation in the global fight against terrorists?
SECRETARY RICE: It is very obvious that what happened in London is just an unfortunate and tragic reminder that we still have a lot of work to do in the war on terrorism and the war against extremism. India, as a democracy that is multiethnic and that has suffered terrorism itself, is, of course, a very good partner in the war on terrorism. We have excellent cooperation in intelligence, we have excellent cooperation on the law enforcement side. I would expect that we will see even greater cooperation.
We, of course, are concerned that terrorism be devalued as a method of resolving grievances, and that is why the work that is being done to deal with underlying political situations is extremely important, too. And in this regard, we welcome very much the work that Prime Minister Singh has been doing to improve relations with Pakistan and we hope that the relationship between President Musharraf and Prime Minister Singh will continue to improve.
MR. CHAKRABARTI: The public opinion in India is a little bit disappointed on the American stand not to push forward right now the question of expansion of UN reforms. Well, would you like to throw some light on this, if you could?
SECRETARY RICE: Yes, of course. The United States favors the expansion of the Security Council and, in fact, we have said that we can support the establishment of two or so permanent seats. We don't believe that a veto is necessary for those. But we understand that the Security Council needs to look like 2005, not 1945.
We have also talked about criteria by which the Security Council might be expanded: countries that can play a global role, countries that are accountable to their populations through democratic governments. And we look to be supportive of expansion. We have long supported the candidacy of Japan. That goes back several administrations. And India, along with others in the Group of Four, are our friends. And it is not that we oppose anyone's candidacy. It is that we believe very strongly that the larger issues of UN reform also have to be addressed, and if we have UN Security Council reform out of phase with the larger UN reforms, then we will not do justice to the organization.
But I have said and the President will reiterate that India's role in international politics, which is growing and growing in a more positive way, will have to be accommodated in the international institutions. And that, of course, includes the UN.
MR. CHAKRABARTI: Thank you very much, Ms. Rice.
SECRETARY RICE: Thank you.
Released on July 15, 2005