Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Press Release from Ministry of External Affairs
New Delhi, India
September 16, 2001

The Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had a ten-minute telephone conversation with the President of the United States, Mr. George W. Bush this evening. It may be recalled that the Prime Minister had expressed a desire to talk to the U.S. President in order to express his condolences and sympathy in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C. The U.S. President called the Prime Minister from Camp David at around 9.10 p.m. He expressed his very strong appreciation for the significant statement of support conveyed by the Government of India after the tragedy. He said that very good relations exist between the two governments and peoples.

The Prime Minister said that the Government and people of India share the pain and anger of the American people, and that India would extend its fullest cooperation in bringing the terrorists to justice. He agreed with the American President that terrorism was a global problem, stating in this context that terrorism could not be attributed to any religion. The Prime Minister referred especially to the reports of attacks (including one fatality) on members of the Sikh community in the United States. The U.S. President readily responded to state that such attacks should be prevented from happening. He stated that he fully believed that the fight against terrorism was not against any one nationality, group or people.

Both leaders agreed that dialogue between their two countries would keep each side informed about terrorist organizations operating all over the world. In this context, the Prime Minister said that he would be deputing his National Security Adviser, Shri Brajesh Mishra to the United States for discussions with the U.S. Government. The President responded to state that the U.S. National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice would be informed about this, and that she would hold discussions with Shri Mishra when he arrived in Washington.