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26/12/2002-Press Briefing by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs , Shri Navtej Sarna

Shri Navtej Sarna: Good Afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I have three points on which I can share some information. Firstly, this morning a bilateral agreement was signed between India and the United States whereby the two sides agreed that neither country will surrender persons of the other country to any international tribunal without the other country express consent. This agreement was signed Foreign Secretary Shri Kanwal Sibal and Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill of United States. India and United States share the strongest possible commitment to bring it to justice to those who commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide. As strong vibrant democracies both India and United States share concerns about the possible conflicts between robust national judicial processes and international tribunals as also the impacts of such tribunals on national sovereignty. The accord is emblematic of the strides that continue to be made in transforming India-United States relations. Both governments look forward to working in close cooperation on such significant issues in the future.

Shri Navtej Sarna: Good Afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I have three points on which I can share some information. Firstly, this morning a bilateral agreement was signed between India and the United States whereby the two sides agreed that neither country will surrender persons of the other country to any international tribunal without the other country express consent. This agreement was signed Foreign Secretary Shri Kanwal Sibal and Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill of United States. India and United States share the strongest possible commitment to bring it to justice to those who commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide. As strong vibrant democracies both India and United States share concerns about the possible conflicts between robust national judicial processes and international tribunals as also the impacts of such tribunals on national sovereignty. The accord is emblematic of the strides that continue to be made in transforming India-United States relations. Both governments look forward to working in close cooperation on such significant issues in the future.

The second point is on a contract signed in Tehran between a consortium of Indian companies to carry out exploration in Farsi Block located in Persian Gulf. This marks the first step in India’s involvement for exploration in the Iranian oil sector. This consortium consists of ONGC-Videsh with 40%, IOC with 40% and OIL with 20% of the equity. The contract commits US$ 27 million in exploration obligation. Oil discovery in excess of 500 million barrels is expected.

The contract was signed from the Indian side by the Ambassador Shri P.S. Haer and Shri J.M Mauskar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum, who is leading a delegation of Indian Oil Companies to India.

The third point, which I wanted to brief you, was that as part of our continuing contribution to the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in Afghanistan 25 buses were handed over today to the Afghan government. They were handed over to the President of Procurement of the Afghanistan Transport Authority Mr. A.H. Karimi. The buses are expected to move to Afghanistan in about 10 days time. They are expected to cross over the Indian border to Pakistan and then to Afghanistan on the 29th of this month.

December 26, 2002
New Delhi

 

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