U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano met with top Indian officials on Thursday as part of a security dialogue to increase cooperation in counterterrorism, intelligence sharing and cybersecurity between the two countries.
Napolitano, who is currently on a four-day visit to India, has described India as a steadfast partner and said both countries should work together to strengthen their law enforcement and counterterrorism efforts.
During the Cold War, India and the Soviet Union shared close ties, while the U.S. tilted toward India's rival, Pakistan. But in recent years, New Delhi and Washington have drawn closer, finding common ground in their concern over global terrorism, commitment to democracy and booming trade.
Napolitano's visit comes as a businessman stands trial in Chicago in connection with the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed at least 166 people. India has blamed Pakistan-based insurgent groups for the killings.
On Thursday, Napolitano met with India's Defense Minister A.K. Antony and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao _ the ministry's top bureaucrat _ in the Indian capital, according to the U.S. Embassy.
Napolitano is scheduled to meet with India's Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday to jointly launch the U.S.-India Homeland Security dialogue _ a critical new component of their ties that would increase communication and information-sharing between the two countries on issues that affect security, said a U.S. government statement on Wednesday.
Napolitano began her visit this week by paying tribute to victims of the Mumbai attacks. She laid a wreath and observed a brief silence at a memorial to 16 policemen who were killed during the three-day siege of India's financial capital.