|US., India Discuss Terror War, Relations With Pakistan |
US., India Discuss Terror War, Relations With Pakistan
By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service.
Washington D.C. -- (AFPS) January 17, 2002 -- Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today discussed cooperation in the war on terrorism and the tense situation between India and Pakistan during a meeting at the Pentagon.
Rumsfeld referred to the terror attack on India's Parliament House in saying India and the United States "know firsthand about terrorism." He said the two countries have a common interest in defeating terrorism in Afghanistan and that the U.S. stand against terrorism is principled.
"We think about terrorism against India in the same terms that we want India to think about terrorism in the United States," Rumsfeld said.
During their meeting the two men discussed the tension between India and Pakistan arising from the attack on the seat of India's government. Rumsfeld said he told Fernandes that the United States is hopeful that the steps Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf outlined in a recent speech and the actions he's taken since then "will go a long way toward lowering tensions and promoting a constructive dialogue between the countries."
The two men also signed a bilateral agreement concerning the general security of military information. The agreement paves the way for greater technology cooperation between the United States and India. It allows the United States and India to share classified information. The two countries vow to protect the information appropriately.
Fernandes credited the Bush administration with helping revive the defense and security cooperation between the United States and India. He said the two countries will have a number of meetings on counterterrorism and military- to-military contacts.
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