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Voicing concern over heightened activities of pirates, the US today said it looked at India as a possible “strategic partner” in checking the menace.

“We know India experiences a similar phenomenon of piracy, terrorism and exploitation and we believe that in the Memorandum of Counter Terrorism, that was recently signed between the US and India, that maritime security can be an area where we work together in future,” US ambassador to India Timothy J Roemer said here.

He was responding to queries about the US’ concerns on piracy, which has increased in recent times.

Noting that the US has also been affected by piracy as four of its citizens were killed recently, Roemer said, “We know that these pirates are increasingly reaching out further and further off shore going 200 to 600 miles off shore to reach ships and hostages. We know that there is no infrastructure in Africa to prosecute these people.”

He said that India could be a “very strategic partner to talk about best practices” to tackle the menace.

Without naming Pakistan and Afghanistan, Roemer said the epicentre of global terrorism was located in Asia and said the two countries are working together to ensure safety of our citizens and mutual interests.

“We (India and the US) face a very similar threat. The counter-terrorism agreement signed last summer will define our partnership in the days to come,” he added.

Roemer said India and US can work together on counterterrorism issues to share information, technology, intelligence on terrorists groups such as LeT and al-Qaeda that target India or America or any other nation.

Answering queries about the situation in Libya, the US ambassador praised the role of Indian government in evacuating its citizens from the strife-torn North African country.

“The US is also very concerned about the situation in Libya. It is concerned to see that will of the people in Libya is accepted there, to see that secondly the violence ends and thirdly that Gaddafi steps aside,” he added.

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