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Cablegate: Us/Goi Counter Terrorism Cooperation May Suffer From Alleged Spy Scandal

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PM/PPA FOR ERUSSELL, BAVERILL, MMARKOFF

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/10/2016
TAGS: PREL PTER KCIP PINR IN
SUBJECT: US/GOI COUNTER TERRORISM COOPERATION MAY SUFFER FROM ALLEGED SPY SCANDAL
REF: NEW DELHI 4401

Classified By: Charge Geoffrey Pyatt, for Reasons 1.5(b) and (c)

1. (C) MEA Additional Secretary (International Organizations) K.C. Singh used a July 7 meeting with the DCM to raise the recent Indian press allegations (primarily in the ""Indian Express"") that a US diplomat used our Cybersecurity Forum to recruit officers in India's National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), lamenting that this overblown episode ""will give the (Indian intelligence) agencies an excuse to be standoffish and not cooperate with the US.""

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2. (C) Against this background, Singh suggested that it would be better for S/CT Ambassador Crumpton to come to India in October or November for the next US/India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group (CTJWG), rather than aiming for an earlier meeting. Singh hoped that the additional passage of time would provide a more conducive climate among Indian security services.

Comment: A Question of Prudence, Not Lack of Interest
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3. (C) We read Singh's caution on CT and cybersecurity cooperation as his exercising prudence within an Indian bureaucracy that is often riddled with RUMINT, suspicion, back-biting and fear of scandal, all the more so with near-daily articles in the mainstream press over the NSCS affair. He clearly remains committed to CT cooperation,(Reftel) as we have noted in past reporting, and raised the recent allegations more in a spirit of sorrow than anger.

PYATT

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