US asks India to partner in counter-terrorismMarch 9th, 2011 - 5:15 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Without naming Pakistan, US ambassador Timothy J. Roemer Wednesday said the epicentre of global terrorism was located in Asia and asked India to partner with America in the war against terrorism and piracy.
“It is most important (that) India and US work together against terrorism. We know that one of the epicentres of terrorism in the world is located in Asia,” Roemer told reporters after addressing a conference here.
“We (US and India) face a very similar threat. The counter-terrorism agreement signed last summer will define our partnership in the days to come,” he added.
“It is not enough for our students to study country-to-country relationship any more. It is not enough for us to understand traditional bilateral relationships between US and India or India and China.
“Now transnational actors and events can change them overnight such as the people’s revolution in Egypt or technology that can be used for nuclear war by terror groups or the flood in Pakistan that can displace 20 million people and give India the opportunity to reach out, as they did.
“That flood also provides opportunity to Laskhar-e-Toiba (LeT) to exploit the pain and misery to recruit people to kill, maim and murder others,” he added.
Referring to the terror attack on Mumbai and 9/11, Roemer said world citizens were killed in both events.
He added that these incidents have prompted “an unprecedented US-India cooperation in sharing information, technology and intelligence shoulder-to-shoulder, 24×7 and daily”.
On the hijacking of cargo ships by Somali pirates, who are holding hostage sailors from different countries, the ambassador said piracy was “a very important and timely” issue that had impacted most countries including the US and India.
“We believe in the counter-terrorism memorandum of understanding that US has signed with India… Maritime security can be an area where we work together in the future,” he said.
Noting that pirates were going into high seas and reaching cargo ships over 600 miles off shore, Roemer said the problem was compunded because of issues related to insurance and lack of infrastructure in Africa.
“We think India can be a very very important strategic partner to talk about best practices, what do we do in the future and how do we extend our security interest.
“We also know that India was attacked on 26/11 by sea. India and US can work together on counterterrorism issues to share information, technology, intelligence on terrorists, whether they be from LeT, Al Qaeda or other groups that target India or America or any other nation,” he said.
The safety and security of the citizens of both India and US could be guaranteed if the two governments and people work more closely together, he added.
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Tags: bilateral relationships, cargo ships, counter terrorism, epicentre, global terrorism, maim, maritime security, memorandum of understanding, nuclear war, pain and misery, roemer, shoulder to shoulder, somali pirates, terror attack, terror groups, terrorism in the world, timely issue, transnational actors, war against terrorism, world citizens