Terrorism, economy to figure high on Bush-Manmohan Singh agenda

September 16th, 2008 - 10:37 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghWashington, Sep 16 (IANS) Terrorism and the state of the US economy will be high on the agenda when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets President George W Bush at the White House Sep 25 during his visit to the US to attend the UN General Assembly session.The two leaders will “absolutely” talk about it, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said Monday condemning the serial bombings in Delhi over the weekend and offering to help India “in any way” to fight back against terrorists.

“We were distressed to see the terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in India this weekend,” she said. “We obviously stand with the Indians in trying to fight against terrorism and extremists, and we would help them in any way that we can to fight back against them.”

“Absolutely,” said Perino when asked whether Bush will discuss the issue of terrorism with Manmohan Singh during his visit. “And I know that he and the prime minister will talk about it when he’s here.”

Manmohan Singh and Bush are expected to sign the India-US nuclear agreement at the White House Sep 25 if the implementing 123 agreement is approved by the US Congress by then.

Perino said she was sure that Bush will discuss the state of US economy and its impact on global economy with Manmohan Singh and other world leaders at the United Nations.

“I’m sure that the economy is going to be a topic at the UNGA meeting, which is going to take place next week. It was a topic at the G8 meeting, and the G7 ministers continue to talk about it, as well,” she said.

“I think there is no doubt that the way that our financial system works in a world now that everything is much more globalised and they are dependent on one another,” Perino said.

That was why US Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson has been talking about it with his counterparts so frequently in the past several months. “And increasingly over the past weekend, they did that with more frequency.”

Earlier, the State Department too issued a statement condemning the Sep 13 terrorist attacks in New Delhi and offering to help India in its ongoing fight to eliminate the scourge of terrorism.

Saturday’s “tragedy serves as a reminder that terrorism does not deter, but unites those committed to peaceful and political means as the guarantor of a free, democratic and prosperous society,” State Department Spokesman, Sean McCormack, stated.

“We stand with and are ready to assist the government and people of India in their ongoing fight to eliminate the scourge of terrorism,” he added.

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