Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, currently visiting the United States of America (USA), met senior Government functionaries including Secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Muller.
Shinde also led the Indian delegation for second round of the Homeland Security Dialogue with Secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano leading US delegation.
The two leaders emphasized that cooperation between India and the United States in internal security was a key pillar of the India-US Global Strategic Partnership. They also recognized that such cooperation was imperative, in view of commonality of the threats that confront the two countries.
They welcomed progress made over the recent past in developing practical steps to enhance the security of the citizens and to prevent the misuse of increasingly-interconnected global financial, transportation and communication systems. Both the countries agreed to enhance cooperation in capacity building programmes and to identify technologies and equipment useful for Indian law enforcement agencies to source in the United States.
During the dialogue two leaders received reports from the six sub-groups that constitute the Homeland Security Dialogue and welcomed progress being achieved in substantive terms.
They applauded the fact that specific cooperation programmes were identified and emphasized the need for results from this Dialogue.
Shinde invited Secretary Napolitano to visit India in 2014 to co-Chair the next round of the Dialogue. Both the countries agreed to carry out a review of the process a few months before that, under the stewardship of Union Home Secretary and the US Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
The outcomes of these meetings and the overall strategic perspective within which this Dialogue took place are outlined in the Joint Communique released by Shinde and Napolitano after their meeting.
Shinde also met US Attorney General Eric Holder on May 21. The two leaders recognized the compelling reasons for closer cooperation between India and the United States based on the larger strategic objective underlined by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh during the US President's State Visit to India in November 2010.
They also agreed that the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Justice should work together institutionally, so as to ensure the best possible outcomes within the laws of the two countries, to address pending issues relating to extradition, execution of Letters Rogatory and Red Corner Notices, as well as other areas of cooperation in law enforcement, counter terrorism and judicial processes.
Shinde also met Director of Federal Bureau of Investigation of USA, Robert Muller and reviewed areas of cooperation and issues of interest. The FBI and Indian agencies have remained in close contact, and it was agreed that the process of inter-agency cooperation would be developed further, in this context.
After the completion of his official meetings, Shinde and senior members of his delegation left for a day-visit to Boston, during which Shinde is expected to have a detailed briefing of the successful investigation of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing. (ANI)