US Top Officials Meet Indian National Security Advisor Doval

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Washington, DC – The United States Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday (March 30) welcomed Indian National Security Advisor Doval to Washington, DC for the Nuclear Security Summit, which is taking place March 31 and April 1, 2016.

Summing up the meeting, John Kirby, the State Department spokesman said, “In their meeting this afternoon, the Secretary noted that as the world’s oldest and largest democracies, the United States and India are global partners that share a wide-ranging convergence of interests and values.”

“Secretary Kerry commended India for its leadership on clean energy and reducing carbon emissions, as well as its improving resilience in the face of climate change,” said Kirby, adding, “They also discussed the importance of dealing more effectively with illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.”

Noting that the secretary hoped the US-India civil nuclear partnership should “further bolster India’s energy security and our strong economic relationship,” Kirby concluded, “They discussed ways to increase diplomatic cooperation on a range of regional and global issues, to include counter-terrorism efforts.”

Addressing a small audience of journalists after his meeting with Doval, Kerry highlighted India’s “long record of being a leader, of being responsible,” urging Delhi to play “a very important role” in handling nuclear weapons and nuclear materials.

Making an indirect reference to Pakistan’s deployment of battlefield nuclear weapons, Kerry said, “We’ve raised them with various partners in the region. So our hope is that this Nuclear Security Summit will contribute to everybody’s understanding about our global responsibilities and choices.”

Washington has repeatedly urged Islamabad not to do so as it feels battlefield deployments make nuclear weapons vulnerable to theft and sabotage but Pakistan has turned a deaf ear to the US request.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was scheduled to participate in the summit, cancelled his visit after the Easter Sunday terror strike in Lahore but sources here say Sharif was feeling uncomfortable to face the music at the NSS.

A day earlier, Doval met with US National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice at the White House to discuss regional and global issues.

In a statement, NSC Spokesperson Ned Price said, “Ambassador Rice and NSA Doval exchanged views on the terrorist threat posed by ISIL in the region and the importance of combatting the ideology that fuels such groups. They also discussed US-India counterterrorism cooperation, including against Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.”

Ambassador Rice reiterated US support for India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and Missile Technology Control Regime and “they exchanged views on the prospects for commercial progress this year under US-India civil nuclear cooperation,” said spokesperson Price.

Doval will be accompanied by Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to the State Department dinner, hosted by Secretary Kerry on Thursday night (March 31).

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