US-India-Japan dialogue to begin at Assistant Secy level

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Washington, Jun 25: The proposed trilateral dialogue involving India, Japan and the US would begin at the Assistant Secretary level and it would help align policies of the three countries in the Asia-Pacific region, a senior American official has said.

"We will begin that process at my level, at the Assistant Secretary level, and to just explore and see what areas of common pursuit going forward," US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs , Kurt Campbell , told reporters.

Campbell was referring to the recent US-Japan joint statement which announced the launch of the trilateral dialogue, adding that it was needed to align policies of the three countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The joint statement issued at the conclusion of the US- Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting here welcomed India as a strong and enduring Asia-Pacific partner.

Responding to a question, Campbell said yesterday that the US welcomes the Look East policy of New Delhi.

"We welcome India's role as a vibrant, strong player in all aspects of Asian Pacific life - economic, commercial, strategic, and the like," he said.

"We've worked closely with them on coordinating our approaches to the ASEAN Regional Forum and to the East Asia Summit. We've seen important dialogues taking place between India and China and also between India and Japan," Campbell said.

"There are a number of what we might call mini-lateral steps and initiatives in the Asian Pacific region: Japan, South Korea and China; Japan, South Korea and the United States," he said.

There has been, recently, a substantial set of initiatives designed to improve relations between Tokyo and Delhi, "and I think we've agreed that an appropriate next step, given some of our interests and our mutual pursuits, is to seek a trilateral session," Campbell said.

Carney said the United States welcomes the decision of the NSG to approve new guidelines covering transfers of sensitive nuclear technologies used for the enrichment of uranium or the processing of spent nuclear fuel, he said.

This decision establishes agreed criteria that allowed transfers only to those nations that are in compliance with their non-proliferation obligations and that meet agreed standards for nuclear safeguards, safety and security, the White House press secretary said.

In a separate statement, Nuland said the US fully supports the "clean" NSG exception for India and speedy implementation of the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement between the two countries.

PTI

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