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Scientists discuss ways to fight terror

Source: kvia.com
Date: January 14, 2004

NEW DELHI (AP) -- Forty experts from the United States and India met this week to explore ways to use science and technology to fight terrorism, the U.S. Embassy said Tuesday.

The scientists and policy analysts talked about cyber-terrorism, bio-terrorism, threats to nuclear facilities and other topics, the embassy said in a statement.

They discussed ways to deter, monitor and respond to terrorist actions, and were planning further meetings, the embassy said.

The conference, held Monday through Wednesday in western India's Goa state, was closed to the public and media. The embassy said a report from the conference would later be published in India, the United States and other countries affected by terrorism.

Robert O. Blake, Jr., the U.S. Embassy's charge d'affaires, participated in the meeting, as did India's President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam - who helped develop India's rocket and space program, and advised the government on its developing and testing of nuclear weapons.

"The stakes in combatting the terrorist threat have never been higher," Blake said. "Science and technology have the potential to help us develop the new ways to prevent terrorist attacks." He didn't elaborate.

The meeting was made public just after U.S. President George W. Bush on Monday announced plans to expand dialogue with India on missile defense, cooperation on nonmilitary nuclear activities and high-technology trade.

India's Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced the same plans in a government statement released Tuesday.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shashank, who uses only one name, said the plans were the "next steps in the strategic partnership" between the two countries.

"We have really started exchanging views on a whole set of global issues," Shashank said on SAB TV's "Court Martial" program.

The workshop was organized by India's National Institute of Advanced Studies and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences' Committee on International Security and Arms Control.

Part of the funding came from the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum and the U.S. Office of Naval Research, the embassy said.

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