Admiral Mullen in Delhi, pledges US support in terror war


New Delhi : Admiral Mike Mullen, the senior-most officer in the US armed forces, Thursday reiterated the American military’s commitment to work closely with Indian forces to combat terrorism in the region.

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Mullen made the assertion during meetings here with Defence Minister A.K. Antony and other senior Indian civilian and military leaders to discuss the security scenario in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.

Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, “offered his condolences for India’s losses in (the) attacks and reiterated the US military’s commitment to work closely with the Indian armed forces to combat terrorism in the region,” a statement issued by the US embassy said.

“He also repeated Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s offer of US assistance in the investigation (into the Mumbai attacks),” the statement said.

Rice made the offer during a visit here Wednesday to express US solidarity with India in the wake of the attacks in Mumbai that killed 172 people and injured 248. Nine terrorists also were killed and one caught alive.

Mullen “thanked Indian officials for their restraint and their desire to cooperate with Pakistani officials in the pursuit of those responsible for the attacks.”

“Admiral Mullen urged all parties in India and in Pakistan to collaborate against the increasingly sophisticated threat of militant extremism in South Asia,” the statement said.

Mullen’s agenda included meetings with National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan, and Indian Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, who is also the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The Indian defence ministry was silent on the visit.