Washington: In the first high-level contact with the Obama administration, foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon discussed with secretary of state Hillary Clinton and other officials the progress in the probe into Mumbai attacks and the security situation in the region.
Menon, who is on a four-day visit to the US, met Clinton at the State Department and briefed her about the ongoing probe into Mumbai terror attacks, besides exchanging perceptions on counter-terrorism, Afghanistan and the Sri Lankan conflict.
“The meeting lasted for about half an hour. Among key issues discussed at the meeting included Sri Lanka, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism including Mumbai and Afghanistan,” a State Department official said.
The US has been asking Pakistan to have a transparent probe into the Mumbai attacks and bring to book the perpertrators of the crime. A US FBI team had visited Pakistan last week to assist in the probe.
Yielding to intense international pressure, Pakistan had last month admitted that the Mumbai terror attacks were ‘partly’ plotted on its soil and launched from its shores for which it has arrested six persons.
During the talks Menon had with US National Security Adviser General James Jones, the two countries agreed that military strategies alone are not enough to bring lasting peace to war-torn Afghanistan.
“On improving the situation in Afghanistan, Jones and Menon agreed that military strategies alone are not enough to bring stability to the region and that other issues such as economic development and rule of law are also vital to success,” Mike Hammer, National Security Council spokesman said after the meeting.
Obama Administration considers India as a key regional player in restoring lasting peace in Afghanistan.
The meeting between Menon and General Jones lasted for 45 minutes. This was the first time that Jones met a top Indian official.
“They (General Jones and Menon) also touched on counter-terrorism cooperation and the ongoing Mumbai investigation,” Hammer said.
During the meeting, Menon and General Jones discussed a number of other issues of mutual interest and decided to work together on them.
“The two also expressed a mutual desire to work closely together on global priorities such as climate change and non-proliferation,” Hammer said.