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Foreign Secretary discusses Mumbai terror attacks with US officials

Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington | December 03, 2008 10:11 IST

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Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon on Wednesday met with the officials of the United States administration to discuss the issues related to the terror attacks in Mumbai that had claimed around 200 lives, including foreigners.

Menon called on the Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns during his two-day visit to Washington.

"The meetings covered a range of bilateral issues, including counterterrorism cooperation, anti-piracy coordination, the India-US civil nuclear agreement, defence trade, space cooperation and furthering economic and investment relations between the two countries," the Indian Embassy said in a press statement.

Menon's visit was planned ahead of the terror attacks in India's financial capital last week but the trip took place as scheduled and terrorism was on top of the agenda during the discussions, sources told PTI.

Apart from having talks with Negroponte and Burns, the senior Indian foreign service official received a call from the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi who offered her condolences over the tragedy.

Menon also had a conversation with Senator John Kerry, the Chairman of the Sub Committee on Near East, Central and South Asia in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and met with several think-tanks and influential opinion-makers.

"In every conversation, support and commitment was articulated to the transformed relationship, and desire expressed to sustain the momentum through the present transition in US, and beyond.

"All the interlocutors expressed sympathy and support to the government and people of India in the context of the heinous terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Unequivocal  condemnation of the incident and the need for the perpetrators to be held accountable was reiterated," the Embassy has said.

"It was also indicated that there would be full cooperation and support at various levels, including government, from the US to India as it dealt with the consequences of the incident," the statement added.

The Foreign Secretary also had meetings with others, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer; Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Christopher Dodd; Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Richard G Lugar; and Ranking Minority Member for Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Chuck Hagel.

"In meetings with several of the Senators, there were also discussions on the present international economic and financial situation, the new opportunities for cooperation following the successful conclusion of the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement between India and the US, issues related to energy security, climate change etc," the Embassy has said.




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