Menon to visit US this week, counter terrorism high on agenda

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Lalit K Jha

Washington, Jan 25 (PTI) Counter-terrorism cooperationwill be high on the agenda during National Security AdvisorShivshankar Menon''s meetings with top US officials includingSecretary of State Hillary Clinton here later this week.

A senior State Department official said Clinton would behosting a dinner for Menon, reflecting the high importance sheattaches to America''s relationship with India. During histhree-day stay, Menon will meet his American counterpart TomDonilon at the White House.

Menon''s meetings, the first high-level parleys betweenthe two countries after the November visit of US PresidentBarack Obama to India, is considered as a preparatory one forthe next round of India-US Strategic Dialogue to be held inNew Delhi in April.

Clinton would be leading a high-power US delegation,including several Cabinet ranking officials, to India for theStrategic Dialogue; which would be co-chaired by the Secretaryof State and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.

Menon-Donilon meeting at the White House would alsofollow up on the Obama''s November visit and review theprogress being done so far.

The two leaders are also expected to discuss situation inthe region, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Counter-terrorism co-operation between the two countriesis also expected to be one of the major topics of discussions,when Menon meets top US officials during his three-day stay inthe US.

"We have an ongoing counter-terrorism cooperation withIndia. We share a concern about the threat of terrorism, bothin the region and around the world," State Departmentspokesman P J Crowley told reporters at his daily newsconference.

"I can''t point to any particular action that we�ve donein recent days, but we continue to have full cooperationbetween India and the United States as well as othercountries," Crowley said in response to a question.

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