Bush sending Rice to show US solidarity with India

December 1st, 2008 - 10:19 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghWashington, Dec 1 (IANS) Assuring Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of a “shared commitment” to combat terrorism, President George Bush has asked Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to visit India and US agencies to throw their weight behind the Mumbai terror attack investigation.The US will work together with the international community to bring the perpetrators of the terror act to book, Bush told Manmohan Singh in his second telephone call since Wednesday’s terror attacks in Mumbai.

“Out of this tragedy can come an opportunity to hold these extremists accountable and demonstrate the world’s shared commitment to combat terrorism,” Bush said, according to White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

“President Bush told the prime minister that he has directed the state and defence departments along with other federal agencies to devote the necessary resources and personnel to this situation,” Johndroe said.

Expressing solidarity with the people of India, as they recover from the unprecedented terror strikes that killed close to 200 people including several foreigners, “Bush again expressed our deepest condolences,” he said.

“President Bush, noting that American citizens were also killed, said that we would all be working together, with the international community, to go after these extremists,” he said.

The White House later Sunday announced Rice will travel to India Wednesday at the request of Bush as a “further demonstration” of US solidarity with New Delhi in the wake of terror attacks in Mumbai.

“Secretary Rice’s visit to India is a further demonstration of the United States’ commitment to stand in solidarity with the people of India as we all work together to hold these extremists accountable,” Press Secretary Dana Perino said in a statement.

Rice will arrive in New Delhi Wednesday, on the heels of an already scheduled trip to attend a NATO meeting in Brussels Tuesday, she said.

“President Bush has asked Secretary Rice to travel to India this week in the wake of the terror attacks that killed nearly 200 people, including six American citizens,” Perino said.

Rice was to depart Sunday night for London, and then attend a NATO meeting Tuesday in Brussels before travelling on to India arriving in New Delhi Wednesday, the statement said.

Six Americans were killed in the attacks, which also claimed the lives of Germans, Canadians, Israelis and citizens of Britain, Italy, Japan, China, Thailand, Australia and Singapore.

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