US and India are strategic partners in Afghanistan: Rex Tillerson

US and India are strategic partners in Afghanistan: Rex Tillerson

WASHINGTON - The US and India are cross-screening known and suspected terrorists, and later this year, the two countries will convene a new dialogue on terrorist designations, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

“We are coordinating our counter-terrorism efforts more than ever before,” the secretary of state said.

In July, Tillerson said, he signed the designation of Hizbul Mujahidin as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation because the US and India stand shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism.

Tillerson said India can serve as a clear example of a diverse, dynamic, and pluralistic country to others— a flourishing democracy in the age of global terrorism.

The sub-continent is the birthplace of four of the world’s major religions, and India’s diverse population includes more than 170 million Muslims, the third-largest Muslim population in the world, he said.

“Yet we do not encounter significant numbers of Indian Muslims among foreign fighters in the ranks of ISIS or other terror groups, which speaks to the strengths of Indian society,” said the top American diplomat.

He said India is a partner of the US in Afghanistan .

“As we implement President Trump’s new South Asia strategy, we will turn to our partners to ensure greater stability in Afghanistan and throughout the region. India is a partner for peace in Afghanistan and we welcome its assistance efforts,” he said.

President Trump had vowed to boost strategic partnership with India in Afghanistan . Trump had also sought an enhanced role for India to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan .

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi last week warned that the Trump administration’s desire to inject New Delhi in the war-torn country would be “detrimental” as he rejected any role for India in Afghanistan.

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