Vol. 5 Num 675 Sun. April 23, 2006  
Front Page

US, India agree to share data on fighting terrorism

The United States and India have agreed to share information on a real time basis and hold joint exercises as part of counterrorism efforts, the State Department said Friday.

The decision was made at a two-day meeting in Washington of the India-US joint working group on counterterrorism, the department said in a statement.

"Both sides agreed to share information on a real time basis, respond to counterterrorism assistance requests expeditiously and collaborate to upgrade preparedness and capability to deal with acts of terrorism," it said.

The discussions "advanced" bilateral cooperation in areas of common concern such as bioterrorism, aviation security, cyberterrorism, terrorism related to weapons of mass destruction, terrorist finance and money laundering and "violent extremism," according to the statement.

The meeting also agreed to schedule joint counterterrorism exercises and develop specific training programmes in "priority areas," it added.

Joint efforts to improve current mechanisms for extradition and legal cooperation were discussed, the statement said without elaborating.

The United States and India set up the joint working group on counterterrorism in 2000.

India has emerged as a key ally of the United States in its "war on terrorism" and the two powers in July last year agreed to build on a "strategic partnership" ranging from military cooperation to sales of civilian nuclear equipment.

US President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh clinched a landmark deal in March under which Washington would provide civilian nuclear technology to India to help the Asian giant cope with its energy needs.