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US with India in fight against terror: Rocca
September 11, 2003 17:20 IST
Last Updated: September 11, 2003 21:39 IST
The United States on Thursday pledged to stand by India in its battle against terrorism and made it clear that the issue of cross-border infiltration remained 'very important' in its agenda with Pakistan.
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On the second anniversary of the September 11 terror strikes in the US, President George W Bush sent a message to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee extending America's solidarity and support as India remembered its citizens who were killed in the attack on the World Trade Centre buildings.
In the message read out by visiting Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca at a function organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries, Bush said: "The struggle to put an end to terrorism will be long and difficult. We wage this struggle for ourselves and for our children, but also to honour the victims of terror and reaffirm the inherent value of their lives," Bush said.
Rocca said: "The US will stand by India in its battle against terrorism just as India has stood with the US in its battle against terrorism."
Well aware of India's continuing concerns over terrorism sponsored from Pakistan, she said: "I can also reassure you that cross-border infiltration remains a very important issue on our agenda with Pakistan."
Rocca said the US, and President Bush in particular, have condemned all forms of terrorism in the strongest possible terms. "The recent bombings in Srinagar and the deadly blasts in Mumbai are horrific examples of this crime."
She said President Bush had categorically condemned those bombings and extended the sympathy of the American people. "Acts of terror are intended to sow fear and chaos among free peoples. I hope that the perpetrators of these murders will be identified quickly and brought to justice."
Later, in a question-answer session, Rocca, who returns Friday night to Washington, said "combating extremism is something which is in the interest of Pakistan and we will continue to encourage Pakistan to do it."