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US team to visit India, clarify
on request for troops
T V Parasuram in Washington |
June 10, 2003 13:43 IST
Reflecting United States' keenness to have India troops in Iraq, President George W Bush is dispatching a team to New Delhi next week to provide clarification on the exact role of the troops.
Bush brought up the issue of India contributing troops to the US-led efforts to stabilise Iraq during a 30-minute unscheduled meeting with visiting Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani at the White House on Monday.
The US President, who dropped by when Advani was holding talks with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, said a Pentagon team would visit New Delhi on Monday to address whatever clarification India sought.
Emerging from the meeting, Advani said Bush decided to send the team on being told that the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security had discussed the issue twice and needed some clarifications.
"Only after that would the government of India be able to take a decision on the issue," Advani told reporters.
US has been keen on Indian troops for Iraq because of the country's track record in the realm of peacekeeping operations.
The issue was raised by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Sunday when in a rare gesture he called on Advani.
So far, India's stand is that it would provide troops only under United Nations auspices.
Advani in US: Complete Coverage