India, U.S. agree on increased anti-terror cooperation

NEW DELHI, Aug. 30 (UPI) — The United States and India announced on Tuesday increased cooperation to fight terrorism.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj appeared jointly after their second U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue in New Delhi.

The two nations will intensify sharing of intelligence and “work for the early operationalization of an agreement on exchanging information on known or suspected terrorists,” Swaraj told reporters in New Delhi.

And they agreed on a “joint cyber framework to reduce cybercrime,” Kerry said.

Kerry said these developments “couldn’t come at a more important moment.”

The two countries hope to find those involved in terrorist attacks in India, including the January attack on the Pathankot air force base. A Home Ministry-appointed committee has noted gaps and vulnerabilities in border fencing with Pakistan.

Tensions are rising with Pakistan in the disputed region of Kashmir. Officials lifted a 51-day curfew in the territory Monday, citing a decline in separatist violence.

India has moved into a closer relationship with Washington amid rising concerns by both nations about China’s intentions.

Kerry also met Tuesday with India’s national security adviser, Ajit Doval to discuss regional security and counterterrorism. He planned to meet Wednesday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Monday, India and the United States signed a defense agreement that will increase the military cooperation between two of the world’s largest democracies.

It allows their military forces access to each other’s bases for repairs and to replenish supplies. But Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement doesn’t yet allow each nation to set up bases and access to military facilities in the respective countries.

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