Thursday, July 15, 2004

Chennai Online News Service - 'Indo-US relationship is warm'

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'Indo-US relationship is warm'
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Washington, July 15: US today said the Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage's meetings in New Delhi with top Indian leaders reflected the "warm and collaborative nature" of Indo-US relationship.

"The United States and India remain close friends and partners. All of (Richard) Armitage's meetings reflected the warm and collaborative nature of our relationship with India and they are indicative of the direction we want the relationship to proceed," State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher said here yesterday.

He said Armitage was the highest-ranking US government official to visit India after the new Congress-led UPA government came to power. Asked whether Armitage found any disposition "in that region" for contribution of troops to Iraq, Boucher said "there is not anything to report at this point. Obviously, other governments will have to give their positions on this. This was not a major topic in India. I think the Indian Government has already been quite clear on what its position is."

During his brief visit, Armitage had meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs minister K Natwar Singh, Defence minister Pranab Mukherjee, National Security Adviser J N Dixit besides holding extensive parleys with foreign secretary Shashank.

He briefed the leaders on the Iraq situation, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir besides other regional issues. The US has not made any request for contribution of troops to Iraq, he said, adding, India had, however, indicated ways in which it may be helpful in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the war-ravaged country."

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