CIA chief discusses security cooperation with Chidambaram

March 19th, 2009 - 5:25 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) Terrorism, unrest in neighbouring Pakistan and cooperation in security topped the agenda at a meeting between visiting United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief Leon Panetta and Home Minister P. Chidambaram here Thursday.
Panetta, who is the third high-ranking US official to visit India since the 26/11 terror strikes, met up with Chidambaram for nearly half-an-hour at North Block where both sides looked for new ways of forging a closer alliance in their fight against terrorism.

It was the CIA that tipped India last September about a possible terror attack in Mumbai and provided intelligence about the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul last July.

Panetta also had meetings with National Security Advisor M.K.Narayanan, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief K.C. Verma, and Director of Intelligence Bureau Rajiv Mathur.

“The discussions largely revolved around the urgency to step up cooperation when the security situation in South Asia is deteriorating,” said a home ministry official.

Panetta’s visit follows that of Director of National Intelligence John Michel McConnell visit in December last year and by FBI Director Robert Mueller earlier this month.

Panetta is a former Congressman who served as President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and also ran the White House budget office. His appointment drew concerns from some senators and intelligence insiders.

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