Security, visa issues to be part of Indo-US talks
New Delhi: Security issues with a focus on
recent Mumbai bomb blasts, bilateral trade ties and the
American visa regime will figure in the talks between India
and the US during the strategic bilateral dialogue to be held
on July 19 here.
The dialogue to be led by External Affairs Minister S M
Krishna and his US counterpart Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton will also see the two sides taking up regional and
international issues of mutual interest, including the
situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Noting that over the years, Indo-US ties have witnessed a
"qualitative" shift, official spokesperson in the Ministry of
External Affairs Vishnu Prakash said the dialogue is based on
five pillars which include strategic cooperation in defence
and counter-terrorism, energy and trade.
Asked if India will seek assistance from the US in the
July 13 Mumbai terror blasts investigations, the sources said
already America has offered its assistance and there was a
robust cooperation between the two countries, especially after
the 26/11 attacks, including in the area of threat assessment
and intelligence sharing.
"What happened on July 13 in Mumbai will part of the
discussion," the sources said but refused to give details on
what and how it will be discussed.
Afghanistan and the Taliban reintegration process there
will also be discussed, the sources said, adding India will
reiterate the issue of terror safe havens in Pakistan which
poses a threat to the stability of the region.
On trade front, they said the recent incidents of Indian
IT companies facing difficulties in shifting their
professionals for execution of their projects will also be
Apart from the visa fee hike in the H-1B (IT
professional category), the US has also imposed restrictions
on the issuance of such visas.
Asked about the recent decision of Nuclear Suppliers
Group to strengthen the norms governing the transfer of
enrichment and reprocessing technology (ENR), the sources
maintained the move was not aimed against India and the
India-specific pact of 2008 of `clean` waiver will remain.
They also said that while the country has a domestic
law on civil nuclear liability, rules of which were being
framed, India was also on "its course" to ratify the UN
Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage by
November this year.
Asked about India`s outreach efforts to become a
member of the top four multilateral nuclear export regimes-the
NSG, the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Australia Group and the
Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the sources said "we
are making good progress" and appreciated the US` role in
helping India for the membership in these groups.
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