Napolitano Meets Indian Minister to Strengthen Global Strategic Partnership

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Washington, DC – US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today (May 21) discussed issues ranging from cybersecurity and megacity policing to counterterrorism and countering violent extremism with the visiting Indian Minister of Home Affairs Sushil Kumar Shinde at the Second US-India Homeland Security Dialogue to strengthen the global strategic partnership between the United States and India.

“Today, threats transcend national borders, impacting the security and economic prosperity of the entire international community,” said Secretary Napolitano in a post-dialogue statement, adding, “We will continue to collaborate with India to develop a global approach to the challenges and threats we all face.”

According to the Department of Homeland Security, during the meeting, Secretary Napolitano and Minister Shinde reaffirmed the commitment of the two nations to work cooperatively on law enforcement issues, to combat common threats, improve bilateral cooperation through the development and application of innovative technology, combat the flow of illicit finances and currency counterfeiting, and to work closely to counter terrorism and promote cybersecurity.

The plan chalked out at the bilateral talks includes enhancing cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection engagement; increasing training on countering illicit financing through DHS’s Cross Border Financial Investigations Training Program; sharing best practices and lessons learned in the context of megacity policing; and identifying areas in which the United States and India can collaborate on science and technology development and its application in the homeland security context.

The two sides also agreed to explore areas in which to share best practices and lessons learned by both countries on how to enhance the ability of federal, state and local police to better detect, prevent and respond to acts of violent extremism.

Ahead of the dialogue, the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, in a letter to Secretary Napolitano, sought expanded cooperation between the two countries on internal security issues. “The United States and India share common interests in confronting extremism and international terrorism, and common values in defending our democracies from attack,” said the lawmakers belonging to the Caucus, a bipartisan influential group formed in 1993, to address issues pertaining to relations between the US and India.

Calling it “an important opportunity to further advance communication and coordination between our two countries,” Republican Peter Roskam and Democrat Joe Crowley, co-chairs of the Caucus, and 11 other lawmakers, wrote, “While the importance of this cooperation came into greater focus after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, we believe that cooperation should be expanded as broadly as possible, including in areas of transportation security, training, technology cooperation and communications.”

Earlier an announcement from the Indian Embassy noted that Minister Shinde, after arriving in the US Capital on Sunday, May 19, visited the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center the next day and was given a tour and presentation on the functioning and management of the correctional facility in the United States. In the afternoon, Minister Shinde visited the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and met with the Director of NCTC, Mathew G. Olsen, and was given a presentation on the role and the functioning of the NCTC.

On Tuesday (May 21), Minister Shinde was also scheduled to meet the Director of the FBI, Robert S. Muller, and the Attorney General of the US, Eric Holder, before leaving for Boston the same evening to learn about the response in the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings in the city.

In May 2011, Secretary Napolitano traveled to India to launch and hold the first US-India Homeland Security Dialogue with former Indian Minister of Home Affairs P. Chidambaram, after it was initiated during US President Barack Obama’s visit to India in November 2010.

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