US deputy NSA Jon Finer meets Jaishankar and Doval | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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US deputy NSA Jon Finer meets Jaishankar and Doval

Dec 04, 2023 07:45 PM IST

The meeting comes against the backdrop of Washington’s allegations of an Indian link to a plot to kill a Khalistani leader on American soil

US principal deputy national security adviser Jonathan Finer met external affairs minister S Jaishankar and national security adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval on Monday against the backdrop of Washington’s allegations of an Indian link to a plot to kill a Khalistani leader on American soil.

US principal deputy national security adviser Jonathan Finer with external affairs minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi on Monday. (Image posted on X by Dr. S Jaishankar)
US principal deputy national security adviser Jonathan Finer with external affairs minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi on Monday. (Image posted on X by Dr. S Jaishankar)

This was the first publicly acknowledged contact between a senior US security official and the Indian leadership since US prosecutors alleged last week that Indian national Nikhil Gupta had worked with an official purportedly responsible for intelligence in a thwarted plot to assassinate Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

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Finer visited New Delhi for consultations on Monday with Vikram Misri, the deputy national security adviser (strategic affairs) in the National Security Council Secretariat. A readout from the external affairs ministry described the consultations as a follow-up to US NSA Jake Sullivan’s visit to India in June and Doval’s trip to the US in January.

“Good to meet Principal Deputy NSA of the US Jon Finer this afternoon. Useful exchange of views on the global situation. Discussed taking our bilateral cooperation forward,” Jaishankar posted on X after his meeting with the American official, without giving details.

During the consultations, Misri and Finer reviewed key bilateral issues and exchanged views on regional and global developments, according to the external affairs ministry’s readout.

Misri and Finer also undertook the first comprehensive mid-term review of the India-US initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) after the first meeting led by the two NSAs in Washington in January. “They took stock of progress made in building technology value chains under the framework of iCET,” the readout said.

The two officials expressed satisfaction at ongoing collaboration in areas such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence (AI), quantum and high-performance computing, defence innovation, space, and advanced telecommunications through interaction between the governments, industry, academia and other stakeholders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden launched iCET in May 2022 to facilitate cooperation in new and emerging technologies. The mechanism is jointly led by India’s National Security Council Secretariat and the US National Security Council.

Misri and Finer reiterated their commitment to fulfilling the vision of Modi and Biden for elevating the bilateral strategic partnership and agreed to broaden iCET’s scope to include biotechnology, technologies for processing critical minerals and rare earths, digital connectivity and digital public infrastructure, and advanced materials, the readout said.

“They also affirmed the importance of easing regulations to facilitate high-tech collaborations, and transfer of technology. Their discussions served to highlight the immense potential to tap synergies between their domestic initiatives and boost the competitiveness of industry in both countries,” the readout added.

Finer was also scheduled to meet foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra and participate in the Global Technology Summit currently underway in New Delhi.

India has set up a high-level inquiry committee to examine the allegations of a conspiracy to kill Pannun, a senior leader of the outlawed SFJ who has already been declared a terrorist by India. New Delhi last week described the indictment filed against Nikhil Gupta in a US federal court in Manhattan as a “matter of concern” and said that follow-up action will be taken on the findings of the inquiry committee.

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