Terrorism, cooperation in third countries on talks agenda in Washington

Terrorism, cooperation in third countries on talks agenda in Washington

6New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS)┬áIndia-US cooperation for the “benefit of third countries”, including Afghanistan, enhancing cooperation against terrorism, especially in the wake of the Al Qaeda focus on India, would be on agenda besides business and investment during summit talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama in Washington.

India is also expecting a “substantive” outcome from Modi’s Sep 26-30 visit to the US, during which he will spend Sep 29-30 in Washington.

Asked about India’s expectations from the talks, external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that the focus would be in areas of trade and investment, energy, science and technology, defence and security and anti-terrorism cooperation and New Delhi is expecting substantive outcomes.

Both sides would also discuss the possibilities of cooperation in third countries. They would have a dialogue on Afghanistan, where the US-led international forces are to drawdown by the end of the year and where a new unity government is to be formed.

Both sides would also explore the areas where they could work together in Africa and also on connectivity projects in Southeast Asia, he said.

He said terrorism is an area of cooperation and both sides are looking forward to enhancing cooperation in the field.

“It will be a major issue of focus,” he said.

Akbaruddin also made it clear that the prime minister “looks forward and not backward” in a relationship when asked about Modi’s boycott by the US after the Gujarat riots in 2002.

“We see Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to New York and Washington as a signal of India’s abiding commitment to multilateralism and of a desire to build on a growing convergences in Indo-US ties in the areas where we can work together and in areas where we can do more for each other,” he said.

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