Strategic talks with U.S. next week

India and the United States will carry forward the strategic dialogue here next week, with counter-terrorism cooperation expected to figure prominently in the wake of the July 13 Mumbai blasts.

With Washington expressing its willingness to assist India in investigating the latest blasts, the issue would be on the table. Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs preferred not to elaborate on the nature of cooperation, while emphasising that it would form ‘part of the exchange' in the ongoing cooperation on counter-terrorism.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will arrive here on July 18 for the second round of dialogue, to be held on Tuesday with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna. The bilateral dialogue is on five pillars, including Defence, Energy and Climate Change, Education, Trade, Science and Technology, Health and Innovation, covering 18 sectors.

While both sides would examine the progress made in these areas since the last meeting in June 2010, the focus would also be on its pace after the visit of President Barack Obama to India last November.

On Thursday, U.S Charge d'Affaires Peter Burleigh underscored that Washington would implement all agreements entered into with New Delhi in regard to Civil Nuclear Cooperation. “We want to implement all agreements, including 123 and waiver. No doubt nuclear issue will be discussed.” India is also concerned over the problems being faced by Information Technology companies that are finding it difficult to move their professionals to execute projects in the United States.

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