India’s Home Minister Shinde holds talks with US Officials

WASHINGTON (TIP): India’s Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, on an official visit to the United States, continued dialogue in to another day on May 21 with senior US Government leaders including Secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Muller, a press release issued by Embassy of India in Washington said. Minister Shinde and Secretary Napolitano convened the second round of the Homeland Security Dialogue, which last met in New Delhi in May 2011.

The two leaders emphasized that cooperation between India and the United States in securing the two nations was a key pillar of the India-US Global Strategic Partnership. They recognized that such cooperation was imperative, in view of commonality of the threats that confront the two countries. They welcomed progress made over the recent past in developing practical steps to enhance the security of the citizens of the two countries, and to prevent the misuse of increasinglyinterconnected global financial, transportation and communication systems.

They agreed to enhance cooperation in capacity building programs and to identify technologies and equipment which may be useful for Indian law enforcement agencies to source in the United States. Minister Shinde and Secretary Napolitano received reports from the six sub-groups that constitute the Homeland Security Dialogue, and welcomed the fact that progress was being achieved in substantive terms.

They applauded the fact that specific cooperation programs were identified and emphasized the need for results from the Homeland Security Dialogue. Minister Shinde invited Secretary Napolitano to visit India in 2014 to co- Chair the next round of the Dialogue, and the two sides agreed to carry out a review of the process a few months before that, under the stewardship of India’s Home Secretary and the US Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. In the afternoon of May 21, Minister Shinde had a meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder.

The two leaders recognized the compelling reasons for closer cooperation between India and the United States based on the larger strategic objective underlined by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the President’s State Visit to India in November 2010.

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Minister Shinde and Attorney General Holder agreed that the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Justice should work together institutionally, so as to ensure the best possible outcomes within the laws of the two countries, to address pending issues relating to extradition, execution of Letters Rogatory and Red Corner Notices, as well as other areas of cooperation in law enforcement, counter terrorism and judicial processes.

In the Home Minister’s meeting with FBI Director Muller, the two sides reviewed areas of cooperation and issues of interest. The FBI and Indian agencies have remained in close contact, and it was agreed that the process of inter-agency cooperation would be developed further, in this context. After the completion of his official meetings, Home Minister Shinde and senior members of his delegation left for a day-visit to Boston to have a detailed briefing of the investigations that resulted in the successful investigation of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing. Later, after a day’s sojourn in New York, the Minister was to leave for India.

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