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Since September 11, the people of the United States and India have been united as never before in the fight against terrorism. In so doing, they have together reaffirmed the enduring ties between both nations, and the importance of further transforming the U.S.-India relationship. In their meeting, President Bush and Prime Minister Vajpayee discussed ways to accelerate progress towards these goals.
They noted that both countries are targets of terrorism, as seen in the barbaric attacks on September 11 in the United States and on October 1 in Kashmir. They agreed that terrorism threatens not only the security of the United States and India, but also our efforts to build freedom, democracy and international security and stability around the world. As leaders of the two largest multi-cultural democracies, they emphasized that those who equate terrorism with any religion are as wrong as those who invoke religion to commit, support or justify terrorist acts.
The two leaders remembered the victims of the many nationalities in the terrorist attacks on September 11 and agreed that all appropriate steps should be taken to bring the perpetrators to justice, while protecting the lives and welfare of the people affected by these efforts. They noted that both countries are providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
They affirmed the current campaign against the Al-Qaida network and the Taliban in Afghanistan is an important step in a global war against terrorism and its sponsors everywhere in the world. They recognized that the international community will have to wage a long and multi-faceted struggle against terrorism, with patience, determination and unwavering focus. They emphasized that there is only one choice and only one outcome: terrorism must be fought and it shall be defeated.
President Bush and Prime Minister Vajpayee agreed that success in this endeavor would depend heavily on building international cooperation and securing the unambiguous commitment of all nations to share information and intelligence on terrorists and deny them support, sustenance and safe havens. The two leaders agreed to consult regularly on the future of Afghanistan. They welcomed the measures outlined in the UNSCR 1373 and called on all nations to ratify and implement existing UN Conventions on counter-terrorism. They expressed support for India's draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and urged the resolution of outstanding issues to enable its adoption by the UNGA.
The leaders of the two countries expressed satisfaction with the progress made in India-U.S. cooperation on counter-terrorism, including the Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism established in January 2000. They reaffirmed their personal commitment, and that of their two countries, to intensify bilateral cooperation as a critical element in the global effort against terrorism. They also announced the establishment of a Joint Cyber-Terrorism Initiative.
Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Bush agreed that developments in Afghanistan have a direct impact on its entire neighborhood. They emphasized that the Taliban and the Al-Qaida network have turned Afghanistan into a center of terrorism, extremism, and drug trafficking and have brought immense suffering to the Afghan people. They agreed that a peaceful, progressive, and prosperous Afghanistan requires a broad-based government, representing all ethnic and religious groups, friendly with all countries in the neighborhood and beyond, as well as sizeable and sustained international assistance for Afghanistan's economic reconstruction and development. The two leaders committed themselves to work together, and in partnership with other countries and international organizations, to achieve these goals.
President Bush and Prime Minister Vajpayee also affirmed their commitment to complete the process of qualitatively transforming U.S.-India relations in pursuit of their many common goals in Asia and beyond. They agreed that U.S.-India relations draw strength from the broad political support that exits in both democracies. They expressed satisfaction at the high level of engagement and progress in bilateral cooperation over the last ten months. In particular, they reiterated their support for the wide-ranging bilateral dialogue architecture established in March 2000. The two leaders agreed that recent lifting of economic, military and technology restrictions on India provides a further impetus to bilateral relations. They welcomed the resumption of the bilateral Defense Policy Group as a step towards increasing exchanges and technical cooperation in the defense and security areas. They noted that India's interest in purchasing arms from the United States would be discussed at the Defense Policy Group meetings in December 2001. The two leaders agreed to pursue policies to enhance the mutually beneficial -- and growing -- economic and commercial ties between their nations. They also agreed to expand the Bilateral Economic Dialogue and to broaden dialogue and cooperation in the areas of energy, the environment, health, space, export controls, science and technology, including biotechnology and information technology. They agreed that the two sides should discuss ways to stimulate bilateral high technology commerce. They also agreed that we should begin a dialogue between the two governments with a view towards evaluating the processes by which we transfer dual-use and military items, with a view towards greater transparency and efficiency. In addition, the United States and India have a mutual interest in space and have agreed to initiate discussions on civil space cooperation.
The two leaders expressed confidence that enhancing their cooperation in all these areas will go far towards building a long-term partnership between the United States and India that will greatly benefit citizens of both their nations.
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