- The two leaders discussed ways to build cooperation on counter-terrorism
- India offered to import more US oil in order to improve bilateral trade
- PM Modi also raised concerns regarding the restrictions on H1B visas
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today told United States Vice-President Mike Pence that Pakistan's act of "mainstreaming terrorists involved in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks" was a matter of serious concern for the international community. In an interaction with Mr Pence ahead of the East Asia summit in Singapore, PM Modi claimed that all global terror attacks can be traced back to a single place of origin in India's neighbourhood.
This comment comes ahead of the 10th anniversary of the attacks -- which claimed 164 lives and injured 308 -- on November 26.
"There was some good understanding of how we can move forward in building cooperation in counter-terrorism, and both countries recognised this as a challenge we have to fight together and along with the rest of the international community," said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.
The Jammat-ud-Dawa and the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation, two organisations belonging to 26/11 attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, were taken off Pakistan's list of banned outfits after a presidential ordinance prohibiting them under a United Nations resolution lapsed last month.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Mike Pence and PM Modi had a "productive discussion on all aspects of global strategic partnership based on growing convergence of interests on regional and global issues". The two sides also held brief discussions on bilateral trade, and "agreed that there was a need to identify ways in which India and the United States can go about building a new relationship".
Mr Pence was quoted by the White House as saying that Washington encourages "free, fair and reciprocal trade" with India.
Cooperation in the fields of energy and defence also found mention in the meeting between the two leaders. "There was a lot of discussion on energy. This is a new sector in Indo-US relations -- we began importing oil and gas worth about $4 billion from the United States this year. We express our readiness to import more gas and oil from the United States as a way of expanding trade," said Mr Gokhale.
While both sides agreed that there was substantial improvement in military ties between the two countries, PM Modi stressed that the United States should recognise the opportunies India offers in the field of defence equipment manufacture. The Prime Minister also raised India's concerns regarding the new restrictions on H1B visas before Mr Pence, stating that Indians bring to the United States a treasury of talent as well as the capacity to innovate.
(With inputs from PTI)
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