India, US sign Counter-Terrorism Cooperation Initiative

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, July 23, 2010

India and the United States today signed the India-US Counter Terrorism Initiative, which seeks to further enhance the cooperation between the two countries in counter-terrorism as an important element of their bilateral strategic partnership.

The text of the Initiative was initialed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's state visit to the US in November, 2009.

The Initiative was signed by Union Home Secretary G K Pillai on behalf of the Government of India and US Ambassador to India Timothy J Roemer on behalf of the US. Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao was amongst those present on the occasion.

An official press release said the Initiative, inter alia, provided for strengthening capabilities to effectively combat terrorism; promotion of exchanges regarding modernization of techniques; sharing of best practices on issues of mutual interest; development of investigative skills; promotion of cooperation between forensic science laboratories; and establishment of procedures to provide mutual investigative assistance.

It also provides for enhancing capabilities to act against money laundering, counterfeit currency and financing of terrorism; exchanging best practices on mass transit and rail security; increasing exchanges between Coast Guards and Navy on maritime security; exchanging experience and expertise on port and border security; enhancing liaison and training between specialist Counter Terrorism Units including National Security Guard with their US counter parts.

Mr Pillai recalled that, during the visit of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to the US in September 2009, several areas for counter-terrorism cooperation between India and the US, beyond the existing instrumentalities, were identified.

He said these found full reflection in the agreed document. He described the agreement as an evidence of successful cooperation between India and the US in Counter Terrorism and as being based upon the solid foundation of mutual benefit.

Mr Pillai also acknowledged the key role played by Mr Roemer in bringing the proposal to fruition, an official press release added.