India, US agree to work for peace in Afghanistan

27 June 2017

On his fifth visit to the United States, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump today vowed to strengthen cooperation against terror outfits and strengthen cooperation between the two countries to ensure peace in Afghanistan.

In blow to Pakistan, US also designated Hizb chief as global terrorist and called on Pakistan to rein in terror oufits like Jaish-eMohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and D-Company and ensure that its soil is not used for terror strikes against other nations.

In a joint statement released after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump, the two nations also called on Islamabad to "expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai, Pathankot, and other cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by Pakistan-based groups."

Briefing reporters on the meeting, foreign secretary S Jaishankar said counter-terrorism was a major issue that was discussed between Trump and Modi during the day.

"There was a broad and extensive discussion on Pakistan. On certain issues it was very detailed," he said, adding that there was a converging viewpoint of what is the problem and diagnose the problem.

Jaishankar said there was an extensive discussion between the two leaders on terrorism, "what its epicenter is" and how it is affecting the region, particularly the South Asian region where India is located.

"It is not just an India situation. A lot of the discussions also related to what was happening in Afghanistan," he said.

The two leaders announced increased cooperation "to prevent terrorist travel and to disrupt global recruitment efforts by expanding intelligence-sharing and operational level counter-terrorism cooperation."

"We should take the step for what it is. It is fixing responsibility, highlighting the problem. There is a signalling out of it, it is focusing on a particular group and particular individual. None of us can really miss that message," he said.

The two sides also agreed to have a new consultation mechanism on domestic and international terrorist designations and listing proposals.

Modi and Trump welcomed the exchange of information on known and suspected terrorists for travel screening.

"They further resolved to strengthen information exchange on plans, movements and linkages of terrorist groups and their leaders, as well as on raising and moving of funds by terrorist groups," the statement said.

The leaders affirmed their support for a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that will advance and strengthen the framework for global collaboration and reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism.

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