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India, US to share security perspectives

The visit is reflective of the growing closeness between the two countries and is part of a series of exchange visits that have been agreed upon.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2006 19:00 IST

India and the US will share their security perspectives during the June 4-7 visit of Gen Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee, the highest ranking American military officer to visit New Delhi in three years.

"The visit is reflective of the growing closeness between the two countries and is part of a series of exchange visits that have been agreed upon," a Defence Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

A crowded schedule awaits Pace, who arrives in New Delhi from Singapore on a special US Air Force jet. His predecessor, Gen (retd) Richard B Myers, had visited India in July 2003.

After a briefing at the US embassy on June 5, Pace will lay a wreath at the eternal flame that burns for martyred soldiers at the India Gate and inspect a guard of honour before holding discussions with his host, Indian Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash.

Prakash is the chairman of the Indian chiefs of staff committee.

Thereafter, Lt Gen HS Lidder, chief of Integrated Defence Staff, will brief Pace on "India's Security Perspective", following which US officials will brief senior Indian officers on "Regional Security Perspective."

After his meetings with Indian Army chief Gen JJ Singh and Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, Pace will attend a lunch hosted by Prakash.

A meeting with Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee has not been confirmed but Pace will call on National Security Adviser MK Narayanan.

Pace's other two engagements on June 5 are a press conference at US Ambassador David Mulford's residence and an informal dinner hosted by Prakash at his official residence Navy House.

Early on June 6, Pace flies to Agra for a view of Taj Mahal and then to Chandimandir, adjacent to Punjab-Haryana capital Chandigarh, for a briefing at the Indian Army's Western Command headquarters.

He will deliver an address at the United Services Institution on his return to the capital the same day. Pace departs on June 7.

Pace is the third senior US military officer to visit India this year after US Air Force Chief of Staff Gen T Michael Moseley and US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Gary Roughead.

India and the US had upgraded their defence ties in June 2005 by signing a 10-year agreement that envisages stepped up military cooperation in fields like missile defence, joint weapons production and technology transfer.