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Viewing cable 10NEWDELHI351, SENATOR KERRY AND INDIAN FOREIGN SECRETARY RAO ON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10NEWDELHI351 2010-02-24 13:01 2010-12-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy New Delhi
VZCZCXRO2055
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHPW
DE RUEHNE #0351/01 0551355
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 241355Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9592
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 8258
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 1561
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 7320
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 3961
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 2170
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 6708
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEIDN/DNI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMCSUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
Wednesday, 24 February 2010, 13:55
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 NEW DELHI 000351 
SIPDIS 
EO 12958 DECL: 02/23/2020 
TAGS PREL, PTER, PARM, SENV, PK, IN 
SUBJECT: SENATOR KERRY AND INDIAN FOREIGN SECRETARY RAO ON 
INDO-PAKISTAN TALKS
Classified By: Ambassador Timothy Roemer. Reasons: 1.4(B, D).
1. (C) Summary: In a February 15 meeting with Senator Kerry, Indian Foreign Secretary Rao underlined that Indo-Pakistani talks slated for February 25 enjoy high-level support and were still on track. Rao stressed that the latest rounds of talk would not segue automatically into the formal Composite Dialogue and that a “climate of confidence” was needed to make the talks productive. In response to Senator Kerry’s question, Rao emphasized the bilateral nature of the talks, while inviting U.S. encouragement and support. On Afghanistan, the Foreign Secretary cited Indian interests and criticized Pakistani attempts to exclude New Delhi from regional discussions. Rao said the GOI was “refining” its legislation on civil nuclear liability and was committed to implementing the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. End Summary.
2. (SBU) Senator Kerry (D-MA) and Ambassador Roemer met with Indian Foreign Secretary Rao on February 15 for forty-five minutes for a wide-ranging discussion of upcoming Indo-Pakistan talks, Afghanistan, implementing the U.S.-India civil nuclear agreement, defense sales and climate change. The Senator’s talks with Prime Minister Singh, National Security Advisor Menon and Defense Minister Antony will be reported septel. Senator Kerry was accompanied by Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffers Jonah Blank and Fatema Sumar and military escort LCDR Greg Kausner. MEA Joint Secretary (Americas) Gaitri Kumar joined the Foreign Secretary.
Indo-Pakistan Talks Still On
---------- 
3. (C) After expressing his condolences over the February 13 terrorist bombing in Pune, Senator Kerry focused on the proposed talks between Foreign Secretary Rao and her Pakistani counterpart, now scheduled for February 25. Kerry stressed U.S. interest in and support for the talks and noted that there was a long history of distrust to overcome. He noted he would be meeting with the Pakistani leadership later on February 15 and pressed Rao for her sense of where the talks were heading.
4. (C) FS Rao underlined that support for moving ahead with the talks came from Prime Minister Singh and that he remained strongly committed to dialogue with Pakistan despite incidents such as the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. She explained that the PM had to take public opinion into account, which had worn thin after Mumbai, so there had been a pause in talks for the past 15 months. Responding to Kerry’s question about what the GOP needed to do to make such talks productive, Rao said that a helpful environment could be created if Pakistan took steps to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure. She recognized there had been progress through some arrests and through the Pakistani trial of seven accused in the Mumbai attacks, although the trial would move forward slowly because of Pakistan’s complicated domestic problems. At the same time, terrorist camps still remained open; infiltration over the Line of Control had seen an unseasonable increase during the winter; LeT and JuD leaders like Hafiz Saeed had threatened India with jihaad at large public rallies; and GOP rhetoric against India was on the rise. India wanted to see concrete steps to dismantle these structures.
5. (C) FS Rao was careful to note that it would take some time to move from the latest round of talks to the formal Composite Dialogue between India and Pakistan that had been paused following Mumbai. Such talks “can’t just be switched on” and India needed “a climate of confidence” in order to proceed to a resumption of the full dialogue. She speculated that Pakistani COAS General Kayani was likely to tell the Senator that India’s military doctrine continued to pose a threat to Pakistan and observed that the Pakistani military was “hypnotically obsessed” with India’s military posture
NEW DELHI 00000351 002 OF 003
despite constant reassurances from India about its intentions.
No U.S. Help Needed on Peace Talk Process
---------- 
6. (C) Senator Kerry asked if there were ways the United States could engage differently that would support the talks, perhaps through a regional approach that offered security guarantees with other interested states that would promote stability. Rao urged that the U.S. use it “enormous power” to encourage Pakistan to move forward in a productive way to create a positive climate for discussions. On process, Rao assured Kerry that India and Pakistan had established bilateral processes that should be used. As to Kerry’s suggestion of a regional approach that also involved outside powers, Rao said her instinctive reaction was that India and Pakistan needed to engage more effectively to create a level of trust that would support bilateral talks first.
Afghanistan
---------- 
7. (C) Senator Kerry stressed that the U.S. was serious about its commitment to the region and that there were different possibilities for success than there had been even six months ago. He assured Rao that the July 2011 date to begin withdrawal of combat forces from Afghanistan would not end U.S. commitment in Afghanistan. The date was intended to bring leverage to bear on Afghan officials to make necessary reforms. On the Pakistani side of the border, a change was needed in the dynamics of how a fragile Pakistani civilian government and its strong military interacted with groups such as the Quetta Shura and Haqqani. Rao stressed India’s commitment to its reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. She criticized Pakistani attempts to try to exclude India from regional discussions of Afghanistan and dismissed GOP criticism of India’s presence in consulates in Jalalabad and Kandahar, noting the consultates had originally been established in the fifties and were carrying out normal consular responsibilities.
Civil Nuclear Agreement, Clean Energy, Climate Change
---------- 
8. (SBU) Senator Kerry urged that the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement be fully implemented, noting that there had been questions raised in Washington about delays in moving forward. Rao assured him that the GOI recognized the necessity of coming to closure and said that nuclear liability legislation was being “further refined” and it would be ready for the next session of Parliament which opens on February 22. Kerry stressed that the U.S. and India could work together and become leaders in the field of alternative energy and Rao pointed to a bilateral MOU signed in November 2009 as supporting such cooperative efforts.
9. (SBU) Referring to the Copenhagen Summit, FS Rao said it was positive that agreement had been reached, but noted that the Accord was not a legally binding agreement. She expressed concern that pending climate change legislation in the U.S. Congress might include trade-related provisions. Senator Kerry reassured her that there was no intention to act in a unilateral or punitive fashion, but noted that an agreement among the largest emitters could not be sustained if there was no enforcement mechanism. Legislation in Congress needed to address that possibility in order to be politically sustainable.
Military Sales and Export Controls
----------- 
10. (SBU) The Senator encouraged India to consider bids by Boeing and Lockheed Martin in the competition to award a contract for fighter aircraft purchases. Rao assured Kerry that India was open-minded and was using open and transparent procedures. She hailed the increase in defense cooperation
NEW DELHI 00000351 003 OF 003
as measured by increased U.S. defense sales, while noting that liberalization of export controls was a necessity if both sides wanted the relationship to grow further.
11. (U) This message has been cleared by Codel Kerry. ROEMER