Fri, Mar 24, 2017 | updated 03:40 AM IST

Scope to do lot more in area of counter-terrorism: Sushma Swaraj

Updated: Aug 30, 2016 18:15 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug. 30 (ANI): Noting that India and the United States have taken steps to strengthen their cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said there is scope to do a lot more and this would be an important element of their deliberations.

Stating that both India and the U.S. want to take their expanding defence cooperation to the next stage of co-production and co-development, Swaraj said, "For this, we need to define the benefits associated with India's designation as a 'Major Defence Partner' of the U.S. during the Prime Minister's visit in June. This would spur defence industry collaboration between India and the U.S. and help India play the desired role as a net provider of security in the region."

Delivering opening remarks at the Opening Plenary during the Second India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD), the External Affairs Minister said it is heartening to note that "we have been able to conclude a framework for the India-U.S. Cyber Relationship - the first of its kind both for India and the US, with any other country".

Pointing out that both countries share the same democratic ethos of freedom, equality, pluralism and rule of law, she said, "India's enhanced global role is in our mutual interest. It is in this context, we look forward to continue working closely with the U.S. to secure our membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)."

"In view of the rapidly evolving regional and global situation," said Swaraj, "we look forward to resuming the meeting of the Trilateral with Afghanistan; consultations on Africa and on multilateral issues within this year."

"Recently, we successfully launched the first UN Peacekeeping Course for African partners in New Delhi. This is an apt symbol of our partnership for peace, security and development in the wider world," she added.

Observing that there has been frequent political-level interaction throughout the year, Swaraj said, "Even as we speak, our Minister of Defence is on his second visit to the less than a year, making this year the second in a row that both Defence Ministers have exchanged visits in a calendar year. This is unprecedented."

"Similarly, the Economic and Financial Partnership Initiative at the level of Finance Ministers met earlier this year. Our Home Minister is planning to visit the U.S. shortly for the Homeland Security Dialogue," she added.

Reiterating India's firm commitment for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, she said, "We are taking steps domestically to compress the timeline for our ratification of the Agreement. We hope that the next U.S. Administration will continue to support the Paris Agreement with the same seriousness and purpose as you have done, and that the goal of mobilizing US$100 billion per year from developed countries, will be met with firm support from the U.S. government."

"Our partnership in clean energy has received fresh impetus through launch of several initiatives that are aimed at facilitating clean energy investments from the U.S. into India," she said, adding: "We need to significantly strengthen our collaboration in this area on a scale that will make it viable for us to make quantum transition to renewable energy away from fossil fuel, and achieve our ambitious climate goals."

The minister also urged the U.S. to join the International Solar Alliance as an active member, which will be critical to its success.

Pressing the U.S. for early implementation of the U.S. Global Entry Programme for Indian nationals, Swaraj said, "The issue of totalisation and recent fee hike for H1B and L1 visa has affected our people-to-people exchanges, which is a vital source of strength for our relationship.

"I am sure these issues will be deliberated in depth in the commercial track of our discussion. But I would urge you to find a just and non-discriminatory solution to these issues."

Taking about "exciting" opportunities science and technology cooperation, she said, "Today, Indian and American scientists are engaged in jointly funded research, from atoms to space, combining India's talent with American infrastructure, and transforming lives of millions around the world. I am happy that both sides have decided to explore scaling up of funds for the bilateral Indo-US Science & Technology Forum (IUSSTF). We would request your support in early conclusion of Engineers and Scientists Exchange Programme (ESEP) Agreement."

The External Affairs Minister said India will take part in the Arctic Science Ministerial being hosted by the White House as well as in Our Ocean Conference to be hosted next month.

She stressed to develop cooperation in the area of traditional medicine.

She said trade and investment has continued to grow, and more opportunities are opening after the additional reforms that the Government of India took recently.

"As India unveils transformative economic programmes at home --- be it Smart cities, Make in India, Digital India or renewable energy --- the potential for doing business has never looked more appealing. We see the US as an indispensible partner in achieving these goals," said Swaraj.

"It is with that vision that I hope that you will treat the issue of India's membership of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum positively. This has as much strategic significance as it has commercial potential," she added. (ANI)

MARD to continue its strike

Updated: Mar 24, 2017 02:12 IST

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) continue its strike due to not receiving a certified copy of the Bombay High Court order.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Putting an end to the controversy surrounding Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu continuing his appearance on popular comedy series 'The Kapil Sharma Show', Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda said he did not find any conflict of interest between the former's office as state cabinet minister and his work in television shows.

Full Story >>

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Thursday distributed portfolios among his cabinet, keeping home, power, health, public works department (PWD) and 33 others with himself.

Full Story >>

Ukhrul (Imphal) [India], Mar.23 (ANI): Director of Art and Culture Dr. K. Sushila on Thursday asserted that revival of indigenous culture and traditions of both hills and plain dwellers needed to be promoted.

Full Story >>

Manali (Himachal Pradesh) [India], Mar.23 (ANI): Hundred Indian Army men of Border Road Organization (BRO) were deployed on Thursday to clear summer snow on road stretching over 222 kilometres for traffic from Manali to Sissu.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): Slamming Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad for hitting a staffer of the Air India with his slipper, Minister of State (MoS) for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha on Thursday stated that investigation will determine what right action should be taken into this matter.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar.23 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee has asserted that audit being knowledge based activity, such interactions, sharing of knowledge, experiences, and best practices would be mutually beneficial to all members of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs).

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): A special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) court on Thursday convicted Nigerian national, Michael Oti Nicholas for a four years rigorous imprisonment for possessing drugs in commercial quantity.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): After Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad hit an Air India staffer with his slipper, Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani on Thursday urged the cabin crew to directly inform his office about passenger misbehaviour cases on board.

Full Story >>

Hubli (Karnataka) [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): As many as four pregnant women were carried on a single stretcher in a state government hospital in Karnataka's Hubli district on Thursday.

Full Story >>

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): The first day of the newly formed Uttar Pradesh Cabinet started with a shock as minister Mohsin Raza Khan was taken aback to see the photos of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and party leader Azam Khan hanging on his office wall.

Full Story >>

PM Modi greets Sharif on Pakistan Day

Updated: Mar 23, 2017 21:05 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday sent greetings to his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on Pakistan's National Day via a letter.

Full Story >>

Oppn should trust EVMs: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Updated: Mar 23, 2017 19:40 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): Slamming the Congress Party for walking out from the Rajya Sabha, Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) don't make or break fortunes, but voters do and opposition should trust the judiciary.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): After the Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad hit a staffer of the Air India with his slipper, Delhi Airport Manager, Harinder Singh on Thursday told ANI that the staffer of the national carrier is agitated and hence they have blacklisted the former.

Full Story >>

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India] Mar. 23 (ANI): After Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered a crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses across Uttar Pradesh, famous 'Tunday Kababi' shop owner Abu Bakr today expresses grief as his business is severely affected.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, who has come under sharp criticism for hitting a staffer of the Air India with his slipper, on Thursday wrote a letter to Civil Aviation Minsiter Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan while listing out the problems faced by him in the flight.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar.23 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Chandigarh MP Kiron Kher on Thursday advised Congressman Navjot Singh Sidhu to stop citing her example to justify his appearance on 'Comedy Nights with Kapil', saying her attendance in Parliament is much more than the other parliamentarians.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India] Mar. 23 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday reserved its order on Swaraj India's plea seeking allotment of common symbol to the party to contest the upcoming municipal polls in the national capital.

Full Story >>

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): A Hyderabad court on Thursday granted bail to Swami Aseemanand in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): India on Thursday advised Pakistan to address the challenge of terrorism emanating from Islamabad, which has adversely affected peace and stability in the entire neighbourhood.

Full Story >>