New Delhi: Noting the “horrific terrorist attack” against Israel by Hamas, India and the US reiterated that both countries stand with Israel against terrorism and further called for adherence to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.
The India-US joint statement after the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue called for the immediate release of all remaining hostages.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held the 2+2 Dialogue with their US counterparts, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin on Friday in the national capital.
The Ministers affirmed their commitment to continue coordinating with partners in the Middle East region on humanitarian assistance to meet the urgent needs of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
“They also expressed support for humanitarian pauses and committed to continue close diplomatic coordination, including with key partners in the region, to prevent the conflict from spreading, preserve stability in the Middle East, and work toward a political solution and durable peace,” the joint statement read.
In another major announcement, the Ministers unequivocally condemned terrorism and violent extremism, and the use of terrorist proxies and logistical, financial or military support to terrorist organizations, which could be used to launch or plan terrorist attacks, including international attacks.
“India and the United States reiterated their condemnation of the 26/11 Mumbai attack and the Pathankot attack and called for bringing the perpetrators of these attacks to justice. The Ministers also called for concerted action against all terrorists, including through designations of individuals affiliated with groups that are listed by the UN Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee, such as Al-Qa’ida, ISIS/Daesh, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, and Jaish-e-Mohammed,” the joint statement read.
The Ministers emphasized the importance of upholding international standards on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, consistent with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.
India and the US reiterated their commitment to work together in FATF and other multilateral platforms. They expressed their determination to counter new and emerging forms of terrorism and violent extremism and the use of emerging and evolving technologies such as unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and the internet for terrorist purposes.
The Ministers also decided to convene the 20th Meeting of the India-US Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism and the 5th Designations Dialogue at a mutually convenient date early next year, the statement read.
“Both sides are looking forward to the next edition of the Homeland Security Dialogue in 2024, where leaders will advance security cooperation, through capacity building and other activities,” it added.
The Ministers also welcomed the upcoming meeting of the bilateral Cyber Dialogue expressed their concern about ransomware and other cyber-related crimes, and recognized the need to bolster the protection of critical networks and information infrastructure.