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Wednesday
June 5, 2002
1920 IST

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Armitage in Delhi on Friday

Josy Joseph in New Delhi

Deputy US Secretary of State Richard Armitage would be in New Delhi on Friday for a series of meetings with top Indian leaders, officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and US embassy said.

Armitage would meet Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, Union Home Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani, Defence Minister George Fernandes and National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra. "We are working out the timings," an MEA official said.

Armitage's meeting with Jaswant Singh is expected to be over lunch on Friday.

"It would be a day's visit," an American embassy official said.

There are no details available as of now of US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's visit to India.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his entourage will arrive in New Delhi on Wednesday evening from Almaty, where he attended the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.

Also present at the conference were Pakistan President General Pervez Musharaf, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese premier Jiang Zemin.

Sources in the government said the prime minister would be briefed on Thursday about the latest situation along the Line of Control.

"There are no visible changes. We would take about a month to assess if there is a drop in infiltration [across the LoC]. But that is no guarantee that Pakistan has abandoned its state support to terrorism," a senior Ministry of Defence official said.

Once the visits of senior US representatives are over this week, India is expected to step into its next phase of plan over Pakistan vis--vis Kashmir.

The prime minister is expected to visit Kashmir valley later in the month, this time with the singular attempt to call on the Kashmiris to participate in the forthcoming assembly elections. It is still not clear if he would meet up with any Kashmiri separatist leaders.

Terrorism Strikes in Jammu: The complete coverage

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