US calls India an 'incredibly valuable' partner on counter-terrorism, says future under Trump-Modi is 'very bright'

Washington: Describing India as an "incredibly valuable and close counter-terrorism partner" of the US, the Donald Trump administration said the future is "very bright" for bilateral co-operation in this arena.

US counter-terrorism coordinator Nathan Sales credited meetings between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trump early in the latter's tenure as the reason behind a "powerful" partnership between the two nations. "India is an incredibly important, incredibly valuable and incredibly close counter-terrorism partner of the US," Sales told reporters during a teleconference at the conclusion of the conference on 'Law Enforcement Efforts to Defeat Islamic State'.

Representational image. News18

Representational image. News18

"The president (Trump) and the prime minister (Narendra Modi) held a very, very productive series of meetings earlier in the administration, and in response to that set of meetings, the US government and the Indian government have forged ahead to create a really powerful partnership," he said.

Sales said the Trump administration has announced in the US a number of designations related to terrorist threats that India faces.

In 2016, the US entered into an arrangement with India to share information about known and suspected terrorists. "I think the future is very bright for US-India counter-terrorism corporation," Sales said.

Sales said South Asia is one of the areas of the world where Islamic State has an increasingly robust presence. "Bangladesh is a good example of this. The Holey Artisan Bakery attack in July of 2016 in Dhaka killed 22 people," he said.

The US is also tracking in South Asia the Islamic State Khorasan affiliate becoming increasingly ambitious and increasingly active, he said. "We are working with our partners in the region to develop a shared understanding of the threat that these organisations pose to us in the US and pose to local governments. We are also working with those partners to develop a set of responses," said Sales.

Those responses include things like information-sharing, exchanging data about known and suspected terrorists, improving border security efforts to spot terrorists as they travel from one conflict zone to another.

"I am confident that by bringing together partner nations who have a common understanding of the threat we face that we'll be able to address this," he said.

Updated Date: Mar 01, 2018 11:56 AM

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