India, US agree to foster closer security ties

May 27th, 2011 - 7:54 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) India and the US Friday committed to further their strategic ties by expanding cooperation in areas like accessing and sharing of data related to terrorism and transfering technologies to fight security-related threats.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram and his American counterpart Janet Napolitano, who arrived in India Tuesday, jointly launched the India-US homeland security dialogue.

At the end the day-long meeting, the two sides agreed on deepening technological cooperation to fight the threat of terrorism and other challenges, including, cyber security, counterfeit currency, illicit financing and transnational crime, a joint statement said.

The two sides also discussed cooperation in the investigations into the November 2008 Mumbai terror attack and “reiterated their governments’ commitment to bring the perpetrators and the supporters of the Mumbai attack to justice”, the statement said.

The crucial talks were held as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Pakistan to review situation there in the aftermath of the the May 2 killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by crack American commandos.

Without naming Pakistan, the joint statement said Chidambaram and Napolitano
“reaffirmed their governments’ resolve to defeating the forces of terrorism and called for effective steps by all countries to eliminate safe havens and infrastructure for terrorism”.

The joint statement said “they decided to strengthen agency-to-agency engagement, including in the areas of intelligence exchange, information sharing, forensics and investigation, access and sharing of data relating to terrorism”.

They also agreed to conduct joint needs’ assessments on security-related infrastructure.

Chidambaram and Napolitano agreed that the two governments should maintain a regular dialogue to share information and assessment on equipment, technologies and systems for homeland security and counter-terrorism.

“To facilitate bilateral technology transfer and trade in these items, in the spirit of the strategic partnership between the two countries, they noted the role of the private sector in India and the US in providing technological solutions and equipment.

“They agreed to explore engagement between the governments and the private sectors through appropriate forums.”

They also agreed on a calendar of events, collaborative activities and initiatives to be implemented over the next 12 months, during which India’s home secretary and the US deputy secretary of homeland security should meet at the end of six months to review progress in their collaboration.

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