India, US to cooperate in counter-terrorism

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama walk down the Cross Hall in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Tuesday. Photo: PTI   | Photo Credit: PTI

India and the United States today agreed to strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism with President Barack Obama asking Pakistan to deal “effectively” with extremist organisations operating from there.

Obama also said terrorism should be eradicated from that region which had seen a lot of violence and extremism and that both the countries should actively cooperate in counter-intelligence to prevent Mumbai-type attacks.

At a joint press conference after discussions in the White House, President Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reaffirmed their “full and complete” commitment to implementation of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

Singh, who is the first foreign leader to be received as the state guest in the Obama administration, said that the President has reaffirmed that it is the common resolve of the two countries to implement the nuclear deal as early as possible.

“It is only a question of ‘i’s and ‘t’s to be crossed.

I am confident and I have the assurance of the President that this process will be over without much further loss of time,” Singh said.

Obama, who heaped praise on Singh calling him a man of honesty and integrity, also announced that he has accepted the Prime Minister’s invitation to visit India next year.

“I respect him and I trust him. And I have happily accepted his gracious invitation to visit India next year,” Obama said.

Dealing with the problem of terrorism in the region, Obama said the two countries have agreed to deepen their cooperation against transnational threats.

With the first anniversary of the 26/11 attacks just two days away, he said, “the American people join our Indian friends in remembering the horrific attacks in Mumbai one year ago this week.

“To prevent future attacks, we agreed that our law enforcement and intelligence agencies will work even closer, including sharing more information,” the President said.

Singh said it was important for the international community to sustain its engagement in Afghanistan to help its emergence as a modern state.

“The forces of terrorism in our region pose a grave threat to the entire civilised world and have to be defeated.

President Obama and I have decided to strengthen our cooperation in the area of counter—terrorism,” he said.

Replying to a question, Obama said obviously there have been a history of conflicts between India and Pakistan and it was not for the US to try to resolve them from outside.

“We will encourage ways in which India and Pakistan will feel secure and work for peace and development of their people,” he said.

Referring to bilateral cooperation, the Prime Minister said both the sides have agreed on an early and full implementation of nuclear deal.

“Our strategic partnership should facilitate transfer of high technologies to India. The lifting of US export controls on high-technology exports to India will open vast opportunities for joint research and development efforts.

“It will enable US industry to benefit from the rapid economic and technological transformation that is now under way in our country,” Singh said.

Welcoming the Prime Minister to the White House on the first official visit of his presidency, Obama said this reflected Washington’s admiration for Singh’s leadership, the deep bonds between the people of both the countries and the historic opportunity to strengthen and broaden the partnership between the two countries.

“India today is a rising and responsible global power.

In Asia, Indian leadership is expanding prosperity and the security across the region. And the United States welcomes and encourages India’s leadership role in helping to shape the rise of a stable, peaceful and prosperous Asia.

The President voiced confidence that India will assume its rightful place as a global leader in this century and it will have no better friend and partner than the United States of America.

On the upcoming Copenhagen Summit, Obama said the two countries have made progress to combat climate change.

He said it was essential that all countries do what was necessary to reach a “strong, operational agreement” that will confront the threat of climate change while serving as a stepping stone to a legally binding treaty.

“We reaffirmed that an agreement in Copenhagen should be comprehensive and cover all the issues under negotiations.

We resolve to take significant national mitigation actions that will strengthen the world’s abilities to combat climate change. We agreed to stand by these commitments with full transparency, through appropriate processes, as to their implementation,” the President said.

Obama welcomed Singh’s support for the non-proliferation agenda he had laid out in Prague and he looked forward to India’s participation in the Nuclear Security Summit next year as well as India’s participation as a full partner in US’ shared vision of a world without nuclear weapons.

Singh said in the discussions today, which he described as satisfactory, there was a “meeting of minds” on the future direction of the bilateral relations.

“I was deeply impressed by Obama’s strong commitment to Indo-US strategic partnership and by the breadth of his vision for global peace and prosperity,” Singh said.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 1:08:14 PM |

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