US National Security Advisor to Travel to India Next Week to Widen Indo-Pacific Ties

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will visit India next week, with plans to focus on reviewing progress under the Initiative for Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) with his counterpart Ajit Doval, people familiar with the development told ANI.

President Biden’s top national security aide will be in New Delhi on April 17 and is scheduled to have meetings on April 18.

The top-level engagement will focus on the India-US relationship, “compare notes on the Indo-Pacific” and also talk about “next steps in technology cooperation,” a senior White House official told reporters in Washington.

Sullivan was to travel to India earlier this year in February but because of the global crisis in Ukraine and West Asia, the annual review meeting on iCET was rescheduled.

In May 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden launched iCET to facilitate outcome-oriented cooperation in new and emerging technologies. iCET is co-led by the NSCS in India and the US National Security Council (NSC).

“President (Joe Biden), one of the things that he’s proudest of is his efforts to build a stronger relationship between the United States and India.

And I do believe, both in the Indo-Pacific and the Indian Ocean, and on key issues like technology, the United States and India are working more closely together than ever before…,” a White House official said during a press briefing on Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s official visit to US.

The official acknowledged that “there perhaps had been some ambivalence or some uncertainty” between the two countries in the past.

“I see very little of that now.

I see leaders on both sides who are all in on the promise and prospects of the other, recognize the potential of this relationship that is deeply supported by an activist diaspora community here, and technology and other firms who understand the potential of India.”

“I would say, in many respects, engagement with India is some of the most- the most desired kinds of engagements on the global stage, and we’ve seen this with a variety of key players,” the official said.

The White House official said that the US-India relationship is “trending substantially in a positive direction and that our level of engagement across every possible vector — security, intelligence, technology, people-to-people — has excelled.”

During a recent press briefing in the White House, Sullivan had said that the partnership between India and the United States has reached a new height with collaboration on technology and other fields.

“The partnership between the US and India — a country in BRICS — has gone to new heights with an engagement across technology and security and so many other dimensions,” Sullivan said.

In February this year, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane, while speaking at the second edition of INDUS-X Summit in New Delhi, highlighted robust defence partnership between India and the US, rooted in mutual respect and strategic convergence.

Aramane mentioned Initiatives on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), launched jointly by PM Modi and President Joe Biden in the year 2022.

He talked about the Defence Innovation Bridge, a significant outcome of iCET, serving as a catalyst for collaboration between US and Indian start-ups in the defence sector.