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18 July 2002

U.S., India Commit to Intensifying Cooperation Against Terrorism

(Joint statement of US-India Joint Working Group on Counterterrorism)
(1178)
The U.S.-India Joint Working Group on Counterterrorism met for the
fifth time since January 2000 in Washington July 11-12, and issued a
joint statement in which the Indian and U.S. governments committed to
intensifying their cooperation against terrorism.
"The resolve of the United States and India to fight terrorism has
never been stronger, and their commitment to intensify bilateral
cooperation in this endeavor is deeper than ever before," the
statement said.
The two sides agreed to further intensify intelligence sharing and
coordinate action in pursuit of the remaining members of al-Qaida and
other terrorist groups, the joint statement said.
They discussed the possibility of an early finalization of an
effective Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, and
reviewed cooperation in the areas of extradition and mutual legal
assistance, the joint statement said.
They also agreed to continue their dialogue on technology tools for
enhancing border management, the statement added.
The statement provided a summary of the accomplishments the U.S.-India
Joint Working Group on Counterterrorism in its three meetings during
the past twelve months.
Following is the text of the joint statement:
(begin text)
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
July 18, 2002
STATEMENT BY RICHARD BOUCHER, SPOKESMAN
U.S.-India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group
Following is the text of a Joint Statement issued following the fifth
U.S.-India Joint Working Group on Counterterrorism.
Begin text: The fifth meeting of the U.S.-India Joint Working Group on
Counterterrorism was held on July 11-12, 2002. Coordinator for
Counterterrorism Francis X. Taylor hosted the meeting at the
Department of State. Joint Secretary Jayant Prasad of the Ministry of
External Affairs headed the Indian delegation. Both delegations
included officials and experts from throughout their respective
governments in line with the multi-disciplinary approach needed to
successfully fight terrorism. The U.S.-India Joint Working Group on
Counterterrorism was established in January 2000.
The Joint Working Group has met three times in the past twelve months,
reflecting the importance that the two sides attach to international
cooperation in combating terrorism. The past year has been a watershed
for the two democracies in confronting the challenge of terrorism.
During this period, the United States and India have accomplished much
in their counterterrorism cooperation. They have, inter alia:
-- Broadened their exchange of information and assessments on the
international and regional terrorist situation;
-- Strengthened intelligence and investigative cooperation;
-- Qualitatively upgraded and expanded anti-terrorism training
programs for Indian law enforcement officials;
-- Signed a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty;
-- Launched a bilateral Cyber Security Forum, with a wide-ranging
program of action to address challenges of cyberterrorism and
information security;
-- Introduced military-to-military cooperation on counterterrorism to
supplement the initiatives of the U.S.-India Defense Policy Group in
this area;
-- Worked together closely on multilateral initiatives on terrorism,
including on the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1373;
-- Initiated dialogue and cooperation in homeland/internal security,
terrorist financing, forensic science, transportation security and
border management; and
-- Taken concrete steps to detect and counter the activities of
individual terrorists and terrorist organizations of concern to the
two countries.
The two delegations reviewed the international terrorist situation,
including in South Asia, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. They shared
their assessment of the impact of the military, law enforcement,
financial and other measures taken against terrorists and their
networks over the last six months. They expressed satisfaction at the
progress made in the campaign against al-Qaida, but also recognized
that the efforts of al-Qaida cadres and associates to regroup in other
countries and to form coalitions within other groups continue to pose
a serious threat. The two sides agreed to further intensify
intelligence sharing and coordinate action in pursuit of the remaining
members of al-Qaida and associated terrorist groups. The delegations
also discussed the nexus between weapons of mass destruction
proliferation and terrorism.
The delegations reviewed their cooperation in the areas of
anti-terrorism assistance and capacity building programs conducted by
the United States, border monitoring, military-to-military
cooperation, law enforcement exchanges and legal assistance,
internal/homeland security, counterterrorism finance and money
laundering cooperation, transportation and aviation security and
cyberterrorism.
The delegations expressed their strong support for the full and
effective implementation of UNSC Resolution 1373 and the work of the
UN Security Council's Counterterrorism Committee. UNSCR 1373 provides
a comprehensive and mandatory framework for sustained global action
against terrorism. In addition, both sides consulted on the
possibility of an early finalization of an effective Comprehensive
Convention on International Terrorism.
The two delegations reviewed cooperation in the areas of extradition
and mutual legal assistance with a view to deepening and broadening
that cooperation. Both sides agreed to continue full cooperation in
the investigation of the hijacking of India Airlines flight 814.
Recognizing the importance of equipment and technology in
strengthening counterterrorism capability, the U.S. Technology Support
Working group will meet with its Indian counterpart before the next
JWG. Discussions on counterterrorism equipment between the U.S.
Department of Defense and India's Ministry of Defense will continue
under the aegis of the Defense Policy Group. Both sides also agreed to
continue their dialogue on technology tools for enhancing border
management.
The United States and India unequivocally condemned all acts of
terrorism, whatever the supposed justification, and reaffirmed their
nations' commitments to cooperate in preventing acts of terrorism and
neutralizing terrorist organizations, which are a threat to
international peace and security.
The resolve of the United States and India to fight terrorism has
never been stronger, and their commitment to intensify bilateral
cooperation in this endeavor is deeper than ever before. Nowhere is
this more evident than in the mutual support rendered in response to
terrorist attacks in the two countries.
The Joint Working Group agreed to hold its sixth meeting in New Delhi
at the beginning of 2003.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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