After Rice, top US commander to visit India

December 3rd, 2008 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Admiral Michael Glenn Mullen, the highest ranking official of the US Armed Forces, will visit India Thursday to extend US cooperation in beefing up the country’s coastal security in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks. Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, comes a day after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited India to show her country’s solidarity with India in fighting terrorism.

“Mullen will come to New Delhi tomorrow (Thursday). His visit is significant in the wake of the Mumbai attacks where the terrorists breached the Indian coastal security to land on the city’s shore unchecked,” a defence official said on condition of anonymity.

The Nov 26 attack killed 183 people, including six Americans among 22 foreigners.

During his two-day visit, Mullen will meet his Indian counterpart, the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and Indian Navy chief, Admiral Sureesh Mehta to discuss various aspects of coastal security.

Mullen served as the US Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations from July 2005 to September 2007. He also commanded the US Naval Forces, Europe, and Allied Joint Force Command, Naples, and served as the Vice Chief of Naval Operations from August 2003 to August 2004.

For India the effort to make the 7,516-km coastline impregnable has been proving to be an arduous task.

The coastal areas in the western region are considered more sensitive and intelligence agencies have voiced concern over the influx of militants into states like Gujarat and Maharashtra, both of which face the Arabian Sea.

These coastal routes coupled with the land border along Nepal and Bangladesh are the preferred routes of terrorists to infiltrate and smuggle in arms and explosives into the Indian territory.

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