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26/11: US keeping a close watch on developments

Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washintgon | December 20, 2008 11:17 IST

Lauding India for its 'measured response' in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror strikes, a top Pentagon [Images] official has said various US agencies are keeping a close watch on the developments taking place in both New Delhi [Images] and Islamabad [Images].

"We are working closely with Central Command and with Department of State, Office of the Secretary of Defence and the intelligence agencies to make sure we are as fully apprised, as fully aware of developments in that particular part of the world as we can be," Admiral Timothy Keating, Commander of the US Pacific Command has said.

"I have been in contact with our ambassador in India, with Indian military leaders, and I am grateful for the very measured response that India has demonstrated. We have not done anything significantly different from the Pacific Command in terms of military presence or posture in the wake of the terrorist attacks," the top Pentagon official said.

Stating that US is willing to share its experiences with India through an initial part of a package on the painful lessons learnt by Americans in the aftermath of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, he said he had expressed Washington's desire to New Delhi in his conversations with Indian leaders.

"We are working through initial parts of a package that we would offer to India to help them understand some of the painful lessons learnt in the wake of September 11 attacks through information sharing, collaboration and cooperation. And I have expressed our willingness to provide that to New Delhi in my conversations with Indian leaders," Admiral Keaton said.

At a briefing at the Foreign Press Centre in Washington, Admiral Keating, when asked for his assessment of relations between India and Pakistan after the Mumbai attacks and whether the two nations have successfully avoided the military confrontation, said Washington is satisfied the way both the countries have handled the dangerous situation.

"I think the most important part is the very horrific nature of the attacks, the very calm measured response demonstrated by India thus far and our hopes that all throughout our region in particular and all throughout the world, folks will understand that the struggle against violent extremes -- violent extremists continues to this day," Keating replied.

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