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Lawmakers call for Indo-US cooperation on homeland security

Washington, May 21, 2013, (PTI) : 11:04 IST

Ahead of the India-US Strategic Dialogue, a bi-partisan group of over a dozen influential lawmakers from the powerful Congressional India Caucus has called for better American co-operation and support to New Delhi on homeland security and counter-terrorism issues.

Appreciating the co-operation between India and the US after the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack, the group of lawmakers, led by the Congressional India Caucus Co-Chairs Joseph Crowley and Peter J Roskam, yesterday called for expanding this to new areas of transportation security, training, technology cooperation and communication.

There exists a strong bi-partisan support in this regard, the Congressmen said in a letter to Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary.

A copy of the letter to Napolitano was released to the press.

"While the importance of this cooperation came into greater focus after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, we believe that cooperation should be expanded as broadly as possible, including in areas of transportation security, training, technology cooperation and communications," the letter said.

"Over the past five years, the US and India have increased our mutual efforts at protecting our respective homelands, including in areas such as information sharing, sharing of data related to terrorism and urgent threats and investigation of currency counterfeiting," the lawmakers noted.

"As our two democracies meet to build upon our existing relationship and forge stronger ties, we firmly believe the time is ripe to further strengthen homeland security cooperation," the Congressmen said.

The US and India share common interests in confronting extremism and international terrorism, and common values in defending the democracies from attack, the Congressmen said.

The Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde arrived here yesterday to lead a high-powered Indian delegation for the annual India-US Strategic Dialogue.
He would hold talks with Napolitano, besides visiting New York and Boston.

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