US military chief Myers in India for troops-for-Iraq talks
NEW DELHI (AFP) Jul 28, 2003
The head of the US armed forces, General Richard Myers, arrived here Monday to press India to send troops to strife-torn Iraq and to pave the way for an Indo-US defence policy meeting, officials said.

Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, was to hold talks with his Indian counterpart Admiral Madhvendera Singh and air force chief S. Krishnaswamy later Monday before attending a ceremonial banquet, a defence ministry spokesman said.

On Tuesday Myers will hold talks with Indian army chief General N.C. Vij, and Brajesh Mishra, the national security adviser to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, he said.

Myers was due to leave India later Tuesday.

India's foreign ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said the visit was mainly to discuss a defence policy group meeting of the two countries in the United States on August 6 and 7.

Myers was also likely to discuss the ground situation in Iraq with Indian officials, he said.

Myers' visit is the first by a high-ranking US military official to India since New Delhi on July 14 turned down a US request to send troops for a "stabilization force" in Iraq.

India, however, has said it could reconsider if such a troop deployment was specifically authorised by the United Nations.