US looks India as strategic partner to counter pirates: Roemer

Voicing concern over heightened activities of pirates, the US said it looked at India as a possible "strategic partner" in checking the menace.

Last Updated: Mar 09, 2011, 20:55 PM IST

New Delhi: Voicing concern over heightened
activities of pirates, the US today said it looked at India
as a possible "strategic partner" in checking the menace.

"We know India experiences a similar phenomenon of
piracy, terrorism and exploitation and we believe that in the
Memorandum of Counter Terrorism, that was recently signed
between the US and India, that maritime security can be an
area where we work together in future," US Ambassador to India
Timothy J Roemer said here.

He was responding to queries about the US` concerns on
piracy, which has increased in recent times.

Noting that the US has also been affected by piracy as
four of its citizens were killed recently, Roemer said, "We
know that these pirates are increasingly reaching out further
and further off shore going 200 to 600 miles off shore to
reach ships and hostages. We know that there is no
infrastructure in Africa to prosecute these people."

He said that India could be a "very strategic partner
to talk about best practices" to tackle the menace.

Without naming Pakistan and Afghanistan, Roemer said
the epicentre of global terrorism was located in Asia and said
the two countries are working together to ensure safety of our
citizens and mutual interests.

"We (India and the US) face a very similar threat. The
counter-terrorism agreement signed last summer will define our
partnership in the days to come," he added.

Roemer said India and US can work together on
counterterrorism issues to share information, technology,
intelligence on terrorists groups such as LeT and al Qaeda
that target India or America or any other nation.

Answering queries about the situation in Libya, the US
Ambassador praised the role of Indian government in evacuating
its citizens from the strife-torn North African country.

"The US is also very concerned about the situation in
Libya. It is concerned to see that will of the people in Libya
is accepted there, to see that secondly the violence ends and
thirdly that Gaddafi steps aside," he added.

PTI

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