Terror figures high as Hillary, Krishna hold talks

Discussions on security challenges are high on the agenda in Hillary Clinton`s visit.

New Delhi: The July 13 bomb blasts in
Mumbai figured very high in the Indo-US strategic dialogue
here on Tuesday between visiting US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton and her counterpart External Affairs Minister S M

Krishna mentioned the terror attack, in which 19
people have been killed, in his opening remarks at the
delegation-level talks and said India appreciated the
solidarity shown by her and the US government.

The dialogue is aimed at providing an opportunity to
take stock of the progress in bilateral relations and
cooperation and to hold consultations on global and regional
issues of interest, besides charting out a short to
medium-term road map of cooperation in priority sectors for
the two governments.

Coming less than a week after the Mumbai blasts,
discussions on security challenges in the region are expected
to be high on the agenda with the US asserting that they are
"committed to this important relationship with India with
regard to cooperation in counter-terrorism and security
concerns and we will be as responsive as we can be."
Clinton, who is accompanied by 25-member delegation
including top security officials in the US administration,
will travel to Chennai tomorrow.

Ahead of the delegation-level talks, Krishna and
Clinton had a restricted meeting for nearly an hour.

While Krishna is accompanied by Deputy-Chairman of
Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Sam Pitroda,
Advisor to the Prime Minister and other senior officials,
Clinton`s delegation includes Director of National
Intelligence James Clapper and Assistant to President on
Science and Technology John Holdren.

Before the strategic dialogue, Hillary had a breakfast
meeting with National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon.

On her part, Clinton assured full US support to New
Delhi`s efforts to protect itself from terror attacks.
"Before I go further, however, I want to express our
sympathy and outrage over the terrorist attack in Mumbai last
week. The US condemns this attack in the strongest possible
terms. We send our deepest condolences to the families of the

"And we pledge our support to the Indian government,
however, we can in protecting its cities and citizens from
future harm. We are allies in the fight against violent
extremist networks. And homeland security is a high priority
and a source of increasing partnership," she said while noting
that these were the reasons why the two countries signed the
Counter terrorism Cooperative Initiative.

Observing that US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet
Napolitano came to New Delhi to launch the first-ever US-India
Homeland Security Dialogue, to bring order and urgency to our
shared efforts, Clinton said, "The events in Mumbai have
driven home how important it is that we get results".

Asserting that the "stakes are high", she said, "So it
is critical that this dialogue leads to concrete and
coordinated steps that each of our governments take to produce
real results that make a difference in our people`s lives.


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