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WikiLeaks emails throw light on PM Modi’s Silicon Valley visit

WikiLeaks emails throw light on PM Modi’s Silicon Valley visit


The latest batch of emails released by WikiLeaks from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta gives an insight into the planning done by the Obama administration to ensure a successfull visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Silicon Valley in 2015. More than a month and half before Modi was to visit Silicon Valley in the last week of September, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal wrote an email to John Podesta, who had by then joined the Clinton Campaign, seeking his advice and input on making the trip successful and also checking if the former US president Bill Clinton can co-host a clean energy event with the Modi at Stanford.

In an email to Podesta dated August 12, Biswal said there is a lot of interest in the Indian government to focus on two themes for the Silicon Valley visit. First is the digital economy, she wrote and added that here the focus will be a visit to google and some announcements on Google’s massive investments in India, she said. “The other focus is on clean energy. Here the Indians want to visit Tesla and hopefully announce a Tesla partnership/venture with India focusing on their battery storage system for solar,” Biswal said. “The other major effort is around a clean energy roundtable with Stanford that Commerce had been working on.

It now it seems (Commerce Secretary Penny) Pritzker cannot make it to California and the Indians are looking for some other USG (US government) principal to participate with industry, academia and government,” she wrote. “Before I engage the WH (State Department) and State or DoE (Department of Energy), I wanted to see if you had thoughts on how we should approach this. The Indians have said that it would need to be a Cabinet rank principal to convene this with the PM (Prime Minister),” Biswal said. “We will of course see if Secretary (of State John) Kerry or Secretary (of Energy Earnest) Moniz can go to California that weekend but things are complicated by the (Chinese President) Xi (Jinping’s) visit and the UNGA (UN General Assembly) schedule.

Are there other options you would suggest we pursue?” she asked. “Another option would be to see if (California) Governor (Jerry) Brown or perhaps President Clinton would be interested in co-hosting/convening. Also, would you want to participate in the roundtable? Let me know if you have thoughts on this or want to discuss,” Biswal wrote as per the email released by WikiLeaks yesterday.



Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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