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‘US committed to stronger connection’

india Updated: Jul 20, 2009 00:03 IST

The US is committed to broadening and deepening relations with India, and a third party will have no bearing on it, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.

“Relation between the US and India stands on its merits and is in no way related to any other relationship,” she told a TV channel in an interview on Sunday.

Asked about the release of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, Clinton said, “The syndicate of terror groups (in Pakistan) is a great concern to us.”

In an interview to a news channel on the eve of her India visit, Clinton had said the US was engaged in a very important discussion with the Pakistanis - the government as well as the military - about the importance of standing up against terrorists and extremists.

She will talk to External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna about what the two countries can do together “to prevent the proliferation of the nuclear and other weapons to non-state actors like Al Qaeda”, Clinton said.

On the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), she said the US will continue to strengthen the NPT, but she did understand India’s concerns. “What I want to discuss with my Indian counterparts...what can we do together to act against proliferation.”

Clinton said the Obama administration was trying to get the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty passed by the US Congress. It would be an option of course for the Indian government, she said.