Text of the India-US Joint Statement
|Reproduced below are excerpts from the Joint Statement released in Washington D. C. during the Official Visit to the United States of the Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee.|
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 India-US relationship. In their meeting, Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Bush discussed ways to accelerate progress towards these goals.
They noted that both countries are targets of terrorism, as seen in the barbaric attacks on 11th September in the United States and on 1st October in Kashmir. They agreed that terrorism threatens not only the security of India and the United States, 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 emphasised that those who equate terrorism with any religion are as wrong as those who invoke its name to commit, support or justify terrorist acts.
The two leaders remembered the victims of the many nationalities in the terrorist attacks on 11th September 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 that 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 recognised that the international community will have to wage a long and multi-faceted struggle against terrorism, with patience, determination and unwavering focus. They emphasised that there is only one choice and only one outcome: terrorism must be fought and it shall be defeated.
Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Bush agreed that success in this endeavour 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-US 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 neighbourhood. They emphasised that the Taliban and the Al Qaida network have turned Afghanistan into a centre 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 neighbourhood 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 organisations to achieve these goals.
The two leaders expressed confidence that enhancing their cooperation in all these areas will go far towards building a long-term partnership between India and the United States that will greatly benefit citizens of both their nations.