Tillerson Pledges Anti-Terrorism Cooperation with India

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, right, shakes hand with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in New Delhi. VOA

New Delhi, October 25: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged Anti-Terrorism Cooperation with India to fight terrorism, as he visited New Delhi for talks Wednesday with Indian officials.

Speaking at a news briefing alongside Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, Tillerson said the United States has boosted its commitment to Afghanistan as well as the peace and stability in the wider South Asia region.

“India plays an important role in this effort,” he said. “In the fight against terrorism, the United States will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with India. Terrorist safe havens will not be tolerated.”

Tillerson’s schedule Wednesday includes a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The top U.S. diplomat was in Pakistan on Tuesday to urge leaders there to step up their efforts to counter militancy and Anti-Terrorism Cooperation.

Continuing engagement

A separate statement issued by the prime minister’s office quoted Abbasi as underlining the importance of high-level engagements between Pakistan and the United States and expressing satisfaction on the progress made during these interactions in recent months.

“The two sides agreed to build upon the understandings reached in the dialogue process and to continue the pace and scope of high-level engagements in the future,” according to the Pakistani statement.

It said Abbasi also informed the U.S. delegation of steps Islamabad has taken to promote cooperation and stability in Afghanistan and the region, including enhancement of border security.

The statement quoted Abbasi as saying that progress in promoting peace and stability in the region was linked to the resolution of Pakistan’s territorial dispute with India over Kashmir.

Relations between India and Pakistan, almost always on a rollercoaster in their 70-year history of independence from the British, seemed to be in a downward spiral for the past two years. Both sides used harsh words against each other at the recent U.N. General Assembly in New York, accusing each other of human rights abuses or supporting terrorism.(VOA)

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