-Mullen, on a two-day visit to India, said the memorandum underlined a growing strategic alliance between the two countries, including military and security ties as well as trade and economic cooperation.
NEW DELHI: India and the United States on July 23 pledged closer security ties to combat terrorist threats, a day after the U.S. military's top officer warned extremists could try to stage fresh attacks on the South Asian country.
The India-U.S. Counter Terrorism Cooperation Initiative signed by officials Friday calls for closer cooperation between the two countries' commando and special forces, an Indian government statement said.
The agreement came after top US diplomatic and military officials warned of fresh attempts by militant groups to push nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan into war.
The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, said he feared extremists would attempt another operation similar to the 2008 Mumbai attacks to goad India into armed retaliation against its neighbor.
India said the pact also aims to increase "exchanges between coast guards and the navy on maritime security" and establish procedures to undertake joint investigations.
Timothy Roemer, the U.S. ambassador to India, who signed the agreement on behalf of Washington, said it would go a long way to strengthening cooperation between the two countries.
The diplomat said the pact was forged on the sidelines of a state visit to the United States by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last November.
Mullen, on a two-day visit to India, said the memorandum underlined a growing strategic alliance between the two countries, including military and security ties as well as trade and economic cooperation.
The U.S.-India relationship "has grown dramatically in recent years," Mullen said, and he called for further bolstering military relations.
"It's time now to take this cooperation to the next level. The region is still too dangerous, the challenges we face together still too great for us not to become better friends," Mullen told reporters Friday.
Mullen earlier met Defence Minister A. K. Antony and his Indian counterpart, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik.
Last Updated on Sunday, 18 September 2011 11:25