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Ahead of Clinton's visit, India, US discuss terrorism and Pakistan

Ahead of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit in New Delhi, India and the US discussed an ambitious agenda for expanding bilateral ties at the regional and global levels and increased cooperation in dealing with terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

india Updated: Jun 26, 2009 22:02 IST

Ahead of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit in New Delhi, India and the US on Friday discussed an ambitious agenda for expanding bilateral ties to shape "the events of the 21st century" at the regional and global levels and increased cooperation in dealing with terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

US National Security Adviser James L. Jones arrived in the Capital on a two-day visit on Thursday evening after a crucial trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan that aimed at revamping the US strategy for restoring stability to the volatile Af-Pak region.

Jones, a key aide of President Barack Obama, called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his 7 Race Course residence and discussed a host of issues, including the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks and terrorism in the region.

Manmohan Singh conveyed to him India's security concerns about the terrorist threat from neighbouring countries and pointed out New Delhi's disappointment at Islamabad's sluggish response to prosecuting the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage, reliable sources said.

The prime minister also told him about his meeting with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg on June 16 in which he had conveyed a blunt message to Islamabad asking it not to allow its territory for anti-India terror activities.

The US is keen on the resumption of the dialogue between India and Pakistan, but Manmohan Singh has made it clear that New Delhi will review Islamabad's action against anti-India terrorist outfits before taking a decision on this crucial issue.

Jones, on his part, reiterated the US' commitment to expand cooperation with India in countering terrorism to ensure that another Mumbai-like attack is not repeated in India.

Jones conveyed Obama's invitation to the prime minister to visit the White House this fall, the US embassy said in a statement here.

"The upcoming visit will be an opportunity to continue the discussion that the two leaders held during the G-20 meeting in London, focusing on the global economic situation, trade, energy and climate change, and regional security issues," the statement said.

Jones conveyed Obama's "commitment to expanding bilateral relations in all areas, and the importance attached by the US administration in working with India in shaping events in the twenty-first century at the regional and global level", the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.

"President Obama views the US-India relationship to be of foremost importance in advancing our common interests. In addition to broadening our partnership on a variety of global and bilateral issues, we will work together closely on regional security matters," he said.

"This is an area in which India is playing an important role. I trust that we will develop an even closer bond between the American and Indian people and build a more prosperous and secure future," he added.

Jones also met Defence Minister AK Antony, his Indian counterpart MK Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon.

During the delegation-level talks with Narayanan, the two sides discussed an entire spectrum of bilateral, regional and global issues, including expanding energy, economic and trade links as well as defence ties between the two countries.

The two sides also firmed up the agenda for the visit of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to India, expected late on July.

In his discussions, Jones also spoke about implementing the civil nuclear agreement inked between the two countries last year.

"The US government's strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, our shared commitment to combat terrorism, and the post-election situation in Iran figured prominently in discussions," the US embassy said.

First Published: Jun 26, 2009 21:55 IST