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No pressure by US on India to
send troops to Iraq: Advani
T V Parasuram in Washington |
June 11, 2003 13:03 IST
Dismissing there was any pressure by the United States to send Indian troops to Iraq, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani on Wednesday said a final decision on the issue would be taken only after some clarifications on the exact role of the proposed peace force from an American team visiting New Delhi on June 16.
"India," said Advani, "has indicated that if it is to decide on this matter, the request has to come from the United Nations."
"I can only say the government of America is keen that India participate in this process, that India send its troops, and the reasons are understandable, but I did not see pressure of any kind," Advani told reporters in Washington at the conclusion of his two-day talks with US leaders, including President George W Bush.
The issue of Indian troops' participation in the stabilisation of Iraq was the principle issue almost with every American leader, he revealed.
The matter, Advani said, had been considered twice by the Cabinet Committee on Security.
"In the two meetings, several questions were raised and several clarifications were sought. It was felt that only a direct dialogue and interaction with an American team would be able to provide the necessary clarifications," Advani said.
The US has been keen on India's participation in the stabilisation force in Iraq because of the country's track record in the realm of peacekeeping operations.
Advani in US: Complete Coverage