Press Availability in New Delhi, India

Press Availability
William J. Burns
Deputy Secretary
New Delhi, India
December 12, 2011

DEPUTY SECRETARY BURNS: Good evening. I’m delighted to be back in India. This is my first visit as Deputy Secretary of State. I’ve been here many times in the past, going back to the last administration and in my previous job as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to follow up on the excellent meeting that President Obama and Prime Minister Singh had in Bali at the East Asia Summit last month. I’m very pleased to continue to work to strengthen what President Obama has called one of the defining partnerships of the 21st Century, a relationship that I think matters enormously, not only to both of our countries and both of our peoples, but to the future of the international community and the new century unfolding before us.

I want to thank Minister Krishna, Foreign Secretary Mathai, National Security Advisor Menon with whom I met earlier today for their kind hospitality. We had very productive discussions on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues. We stressed our shared interest in expanding economic cooperation between our two countries, our shared commitment to the full implementation of the civil nuclear agreement, our shared stake in expanding our defense ties. We also discussed issues of common interest in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as in the Asia Pacific region, a region of increasing priority for both India and the United States.

So once again, I’m delighted to be back in Delhi. I want to stress the sustained high-level attention that the U.S. government is determined to apply to our relationship, the high priority that President Obama and Secretary Clinton attach to our partnership. Ours is a relationship where we’re not going to see every day the kind of dramatic breakthroughs or achievements that I’ve been privileged to be a part of in the past, whether the completion of the civil nuclear agreement in 2008, Prime Minister Singh’s state visit to Washington in 2009, the first state visit by any foreign leader in the Obama administration, or President Obama’s historic visit here last year. But I think every day we can continue the hard, steady work of building on and strengthening a relationship that matters greatly to the interests of our two governments and our two peoples.

Once again, thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be here.

QUESTION: Mr. Burns, in an interview [inaudible] the former Home Secretary Mr. [inaudible] has said to which the [inaudible] also agreed the U.S. has not been very forthcoming when it comes to intelligence sharing on David Coleman Headley and the [inaudible] details and [inaudible] details have not been provided to India yet. Is that going to happen any time soon?

DEPUTY SECRETARY BURNS: We’ve worked very hard and I think quite effectively together on not only intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism cooperation generally, but in particular on the Headley case. We understand the significance of that case and we’re determined to continue to work with our Indian partners not only on that case, but as I said in important shared interests in fighting terrorism around the world.

Thank you. Thank you very much.