Rao Briefs US Officials on Indo-Pak Joint Secretary Level Talks

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has briefed top US authorities about her talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in New Delhi last month, said media reports.

Rao called on US Secretary for State Hillary Clinton, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns and National Security Advisor General James Jones, reports said.

According to Indian officials, she briefed American authorities about her talks with Pakistan in the context of discussions ‘focus on regional issues including India’s neighbourhood’, said reports.

Rao stressed that Afghanistan posed the severest security challenge in the region and reiterated India’s long held stand that it was important for the international community to stay the present course in Afghanistan for as long as it is necessary, reports said.

“The US interlocutors conveyed their appreciation of the important developmental work being done by India in Afghanistan,” report quoted Indian officials as saying.

On Tuesday, Indian embassy had said: “Rao’s bilateral meetings ‘with US interlocutors provided an opportunity to review the progress on various pillars of India-US Strategic Dialogue agenda including cooperation in defence, nuclear energy, counter-terrorism, agriculture, education, energy, space, cyber-security.”

Other US officials Rao called on include Under Secretary for Policy in the Department of Defence Michelle Flournoy, Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Robert Hormats and Under Secretary of State for Democracy Global Affairs Maria Otero, said reports.

Besides, she met House of Representatives’ Democrat member Gary Ackerman and Independent senator Joseph Lieberman. She attended a separate breakfast meeting to interact with experts from prominent Washington think tanks.

(Based on internet reports)

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