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Enhanced maritime security cooperation between India, US

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 2 (UNI) India and the United States today decided to enhance cooperation in maritime security, including safety of ships, piracy and armed robbery at sea, and allow free flow of commerce.

In a Joint Statement issued after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President George Bush had talks on wide ranging issues, both the countries said the counter-terrorism cooperation would be enhanced.

It was agreed to expand defence cooperation and information sharing, and greater opportunities to jointly develop technologies and address security and humanitarian issues.

Both the countries reaffirmed their commitment to the protection of the free flow of commerce and to the safety of navigation, and agreed to the conclusion of a Maritime Cooperation Framework to enhance security in the maritime domain, to prevent piracy and other transnational crimes at sea, carry out search and rescue operations, combat marine pollution, respond to natural disasters, address emergent threats and enhance cooperative capabilities, including through logistics support.

Both sides are working to finalise a Logistics Support Agreement at the earliest, the statement said.

The United States welcomed India's intention to join the Container Security Initiative aimed at making global maritime trade and infrastructure more secure and reducing the risk of shipping containers being used to conceal weapons of mass destruction.

Both the countries reiterated their commitment to international efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Building on the July 2005 Disaster Relief Initiative, the statement noted the important disaster management cooperation and their improved capabilities to respond to disaster situations.

It recognised the importance of capacity building in cyber security and greater cooperation to secure their growing electronic interdependencies, including to protect electronic transactions and critical infrastructure from cybercrime, terrorism and other malicious threats.

UNI SH RA HT1845

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