Indo-US Strategic Dialogue: counter-terror coop to be discussed
Taking a major step to further deepen ties, India and the US will hold their first strategic dialogue on June 3 during which they are expected to discuss situation in Afghanistan-Pakistan and ways to take forward initiatives in "top priority" counter-terrorism area.
The Strategic Dialogue, a broad-based format covering 18 sectors, will be led by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna from Indian side and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the US side.
It will also lay the ground for the visit of President Barack Obama to India later this year.
"The Strategic Dialogue will enhance global strategic partnership between India and the US by serving as a very important mechanism to review, enhance and coordinate our broad-based cooperation," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash told reporters here about the meeting taking place in Washington.
The Indian delegation will also include HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.
From the US side, Clinton will be joined by National Security Adviser James Jones, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and some other officials.
The issues that are expected to come up include Afghanistan-Pakistan situation, India's role in Afghanistan and counter-terrorism cooperation between India and the US.
Describing counter-terrorism as an "urgent priority" matter, sources said it poses challenge to both India and the US and their cooperation has intensified after Mumbai attacks.
The two sides will be looking at ways to further step up cooperation in this area, which will involve sharing of intelligence besides the US help to upgrade India's internal security mechanisms like forensic training and coastal security.