India-US to step up counter-terrorism work: Barack Obama


London : India and the US Thursday agreed to step up cooperation in countering terrorism emanating from Pakistan and the border regions of Afghanistan after a meeting here between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama.

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Both leaders spoke strongly about the need for such action after the meeting – their first – on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in London.

“We did discuss the issue of terrorism – we discussed it not simply in terms of terrorism emanating from Pakistan, although obviously we are very concerned about extremists and terrorists who have made camp in the border regions of Pakistan, as well as in Afghanistan,” Obama said at a press conference.

“But we spoke about it more cooperatively, in terms of how we can coordinate effectively on issues of counter terrorism.”

“We also spoke about the fact that in a nuclear age, at a time when perhaps the greatest enemy of both India and Pakistan should be poverty, it may make sense to create a more effective dialogue between India and Pakistan,” the American leader added.

With developments in Pakistan and Afghanistan figuring prominently in the discussions, Manmohan Singh made it clear that Pakistan must show absolute sincerity in bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack to book before the talks can be resumed between the two countries.

“We discussed development in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We both agreed that our two countries must work together to counter the forces of terror,” Manmohan Singh said at his press conference.

“We have a global strategic partnership with the US. We both have agreed that there are enormous opportunities to strengthen this relationship and to make it more productive and durable.”

The prime minister described the meeting as “useful and productive” and said the two leaders focused on development of bilateral relations and how problems of the region can be resolved through interaction between India and the US.

The two leaders also discussed other bilateral, regional and global issues such as energy security and climate change.

Obama, in a detailed account of the discussions on climate change, offered US and European technological help to India in its efforts to tackle climate change.

“We’re going to have to combine the lower-hanging fruit of energy efficiency with rapid technological advances – to the extent that in some case we can [forge] international cooperation and pool our scientific and technical knowledge around things like developing coal sequestration,” the US leader said.

“That could be extremely helpful,” he added.