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US Defence Secretary Panetta planning India visit

November 03, 2011 08:40 IST

United States Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, who places much importance to America's relationship with India, is looking forward to his maiden visit to India in his capacity as head of the Pentagon, a senior US official has said.

"We are looking to try to get Secretary Panetta out to India in the not too distant future," Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Robert Scher told the media at a news conference.

"I was travelling with Secretary Panetta recently and I know how much importance he places on the US-India relationship. And we are trying to find the right time for that to happen," he said in response to a question.

Under the Obama administration, Panetta had visited India as head of the Central Investigation Agency.

Panetta is still to visit India after he took over as the country's defence secretary a few months ago, he said.

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