Washington: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram Friday termed "very fruitful" his three days of intensive interaction with the top officials of the Obama Administration and said the US has a very positive attitude towards the security issues being confronted by India.
"We had very fruitful discussions. I am very pleased with the level of interest shown by the officials and leaders of the US Administration as well as the very positive attitude
they take to the security issues that confront India," Chidambaram told the Indian media at a press conference here.
Winding up his maiden trip to the US, Chidambaram said he discussed with the US leaders the security situation in South Asia, including Pakistan, and India`s concerns about actions being taken by Pakistan regarding those involved in the Mumbai terrorist attacks last year.
"The response has been quite positive and I hope we can take this forward in the days and months ahead," he said.
FBI good partner in investigating terrorist crime
Chidambaram has also praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the premier intelligence agency of the US, terming it as a good partner with India in investigating terrorist crimes.
"The FBI has been very helpful to India in the Mumbai case in the analysis of DNA samples, in decoding the GPS instruments. Two of their officers have deposed before a
Mumbai court," he said.
"So obviously, FBI is a good partner in investigating terrorist crimes and good partner for sharing terrorist related intelligence which effects either India or the United States," he added.
The Indian agencies would continue to maintain their relationship with the FBI and that is mutually beneficial to both countries, Chidambaram said.
On the question of level of intelligence sharing between the two countries, he said it has been pretty good. "Even today, when there is actionable intelligence, it is shared by
the US agencies with the Indian agencies. We share any intelligence that we have vis-à-vis the United States and this would continue," Chidambaram said.
On his meeting with the Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, Chidambaram said money laundering would be one of the issues to be discussed with him today before he leaves Washington on his way back home via New York.
Noting that India’s membership to the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) is an issue, Chidambaram said the US has already promised that they would support and quicken India`s membership to FATF.
"Although it does not quite follow under my jurisdiction immediately, but since I started the process of acquiring the membership of FATF, I would mention this to Secretary Geithner and we would exchange views about the economic situation," he said.
During his stay in Washington, Chidambaram met the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton; the National Security Advisor, General (rtd) James Jones; the FBI Director, Robert
Mueller; the Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano; and the US Attorney General, Eric H Holder Jr Early.
He also met several key US lawmakers in charge of security and intelligence matters in the Congress.