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US hopes for Indian involvement in Iraq
September 05, 2003 09:54 IST
Expressing the hope that India would contribute troops to Iraq if a satisfactory United Nations mandate emerges from the current discussions at the world body, the US has said it is committed to help India fight terrorism irrespective of the stand it takes on the issue.
"It's important to remember that countries will get involved in this because they care about the region, because they care about the Iraqi people, because they think it's good for them to have a more stable region, particularly in a neighbourhood that India is quite close to," state department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters.
"And we would certainly hope that India would find its possible to make a contribution to stability in an area that is very important to India," he said.
To a question on whether India is holding back because of the US $3 billion aid to Pakistan, Boucher said one should go by what the Indian government has said and not from 'coffee house' talk.
Asked whether the US will help India fight terrorism if New Delhi responds to Washington's request for troops in Iraq, Boucher said, "I would tell you that the United States will help India against terrorism and work with India against terrorism, whether India decides to send troops to Iraq or not."