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US, India Will Jointly Train African Peacekeepers

Secretary of State John Kerry, joined by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, speaks to reporters at the State Department in Washington, Sept. 22, 2015.

The United States and India on Tuesday agreed to train troops in six African countries before they are deployed to U.N. peacekeeping missions, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

He spoke after meetings at the State Department with his Indian counterpart, Shushma Swaraj, on economic and security issues.

"We agreed on a joint initiative to train troops in six African countries before they deploy to U.N. peacekeeping missions," Kerry told reporters without specifying which African countries would be involved.

"This responds to a growing need for effective, professional, international peacekeeping in regions of conflict," he said at the end of a two-day U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.

He said progress was also made on energy security and climate change. India is the world's third-largest carbon emitter despite its low per capita emissions, giving it a crucial role in U.N. climate talks in Paris in December. The Paris summit will seek agreement on halting damaging greenhouse gas emissions.

"Both of our governments are firmly committed to reaching a truly meaningful, truly comprehensive, and truly ambitious climate agreement in Paris later this year," Kerry said. "That is absolutely critical."

He said the United States was launching a Fulbright climate fellowship program to help with the exchange of research information.

Swaraj said India recognized that climate change is "one of the most pressing challenges of our times."