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US acknowledges India's probe panel into alleged plot

US Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer acknowledged India's establishment of a Committee of Enquiry to investigate plotting in the US.

In the statement, White House said, "Finer acknowledged India's establishment of a Committee of Enquiry to investigate lethal plotting in the United States and the importance of holding accountable anyone found responsible."

His statement comes after the US Justice Department unsealed an indictment against an Indian national for his alleged involvement in a foiled plot to assassinate a US-based leader of the Sikh Separatist Movement and a citizen in New York.

The US Justice Department has claimed that an Indian government employee (named CC-1), who was not identified in the indictment filed in a federal court in Manhattan, recruited an Indian national named Nikhil Gupta to hire a hitman to carry out the assassination, which was foiled by US authorities, according to prosecutors.

Notably, India has already constituted a high-level enquiry committee to look into all the relevant aspects regarding the concerns shared by the United States and and will be taking "necessary follow-up action" based on the findings.

On November 30, India's Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson said: "During the course of discussions with US on bilateral security cooperation, the US side shared some inputs pertaining to nexus between organised crimes, gun runners, terrorists and extremists. We take such inputs very seriously and high-level inquiry committee has been constituted to look into all the relevant aspects of the matter, and necessary follow-up action will be taken based on the findings of the inquiry committee. You would have seen this in our statements that we have issued."

Jon Finer led a US delegation to New Delhi on December 4. He held a meeting with Deputy National Security Advisor Vikram Misri. The two sides conducted intersessional review of the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET), according to a statement released by the White House.

The statement released by the White House reads, "The iCET is a major milestone in the US-India partnership, which is increasingly defined by strategic security and technology cooperation."

In May 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden launched iCET to facilitate outcome-oriented cooperation in new and emerging technologies. iCET is co-led by the NSCS in India and the US National Security Council (NSC).

He also held a meeting with India's External Affairs S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra for in-depth discussions aimed at strengthening coordination and policy alignment across the Indo-Pacific region.

In the statement, the White House said, "In addition, Mr. Finer conducted bilateral and regional consultations with Ambassador Misri, Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra for in-depth discussions aimed at strengthening coordination and policy alignment across the Indo-Pacific, including the wider Indian Ocean region."

The two sides discussed the Middle East, including the recent attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea and the importance of safeguarding freedom of commercial navigation and plans for a post-conflict Gaza and a pathway towards a two-state solution.

Vikram Misri and Jon Finer also reiterated their commitment to fulfilling the vision of PM Modi and US President Biden for elevating the bilateral strategic partnership. The two sides agreed to broaden the scope of iCET to biotechnology, critical minerals and rare earth processing technologies, digital connectivity and digital public infrastructure, and advanced materials, according to the statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Misri and Finer affirmed the importance of easing regulations to facilitate high-tech collaborations, and transfer of technology. In the statement, MEA said, "Their discussions served to highlight the immense potential to tap synergies between their domestic initiatives and boost the competitiveness of industry in both countries."

Both sides expressed satisfaction with ongoing collaborations in various domains including semiconductors, quantum, artificial intelligence (Al) and high-performance computing (HPC), defence innovation, advanced telecommunications and space through interactions between the respective governments, industry, academia and other stakeholders.

According to MEA statement, Finer's visit to India is a follow up the visit of US NSA Jake Sullivan to India in June 2023 and NSA Ajit Doval's visit to US in January 2023.

(ANI)

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