U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged U.S. support in the global fight on terrorism Saturday, as she met with victims of last year's terror attacks in India's commercial city, Mumbai.
Clinton also said the United States is not pressuring India to improve relations with Pakistan. She said it is up to the two sides to determine how to go forward with peace talks. The U.S. secretary of state spoke to reporters in Mumbai, where Indian officials believe terrorists linked to Pakistan killed 166 people during an attack in November. Secretary Clinton indicated that Pakistan has done much more in recent months to deal with home-grown terrorism.
Clinton is on her first trip to India as secretary of state, and is expected to push for deeper ties with the emerging economy during her three-day visit. While in Mumbai Saturday, Clinton met with employees of two hotels hit by militants, including the manager of the Oberoi hotel, whose wife and two children were killed. Clinton and her staff are staying at the Taj Palace hotel, one of the targets of the attacks. She told reporters she wanted to send a message of solidarity with the people of Mumbai and called her stay a "rebuke to the terrorists who may have taken lives but did not destroy the spirit and resilience" of the city or nation.
The top U.S. diplomat also met with business, education and women's groups.On Sunday, Clinton will travel to New Delhi for talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on issues including foreign policy, climate change and energy. The United States and India are expected to finalize two agreements. One will allow U.S. companies to build nuclear power plants at two sites in India. The other will ensure that U.S. arms technology sold to India is not leaked to other countries.
From India, the top U.S. diplomat travels to Thailand for talks with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and an ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) ministerial conference before returning to Washington next Friday.