Ahead of the crucial Indo-US strategic dialogue, the Obama administration has said that counter-terrorism cooperation with India is a “very high priority” for it as it would help prevent Mumbai-type attacks in future. “I do not see any limits on our counter-terrorism cooperation with India,” assistant secretary of state for south and Central Asia Robert Blake told reporters during a web-chat hosted by the US State Department last week. “This is a very high priority for the United States to look with our Indian friends to ensure they have the best system possible to prevent future terrorist attacks such as the terrible attack that occurred in Mumbai in November 2008,” he said.
His remarks came ahead of the key visit of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to India on July 19 and 20 for the Strategic Dialogue between the two countries.
He said one of the hallmarks of India-US cooperation over the last several years has been the increase in their counter-terrorism cooperation. “We are looking to build on that,” he underlined.
The two countries, he said, just had a very successful Homeland Security Dialogue that was chaired and led by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano who went to New Delhi in May to meet Union Home Minister P Chidambaram. “They had very successful meetings on a wide range of new collaborative arrangement to expand on homeland security cooperation and counter-terrorism cooperation,” Blake said. “We do not in any way try to hyphenate that with Pakistan or with any other country. We do it on its own merit. We attach a very high priority.”