US envoy offers help in Jaipur blasts

May 14th, 2008 - 4:50 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) US Ambassador to India David Mulford met Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon Wednesday morning and offered all assistance in investigations into the serial blasts that rocked the Rajasthan capital Jaipur the day before. According to a US embassy official, the half-hour meeting that began at 11 a.m. was a scheduled one. But with the blasts, terrorism and its aftermath was high on the agenda.

“We have offered our assistance in analysing and understanding the aftermath of the tragedy. We told the government that we are willing to help them in any way we can,” Mulford told reporters outside South Block after the meeting.

The foreign secretary said the blasts were still being investigated and more facts had to be gathered before fingers could be pointed.

“The Jaipur case, we are still in process of investigating. When we come to some conclusions, we will see where the sources are, where the roots are, where it’s come from, how it happened; and then we will decide what we do,” said Menon.

He added that cross border infiltration and terrorism would certainly be a “high priority” in the agenda of the forthcoming talks with Pakistan at the foreign secretary and foreign ministry level next week in Islamabad.

“For us the fact of infiltration itself is the problem and we will deal with it on the ground - but also bilaterally with Pakistan, we will raise it with them,” he said.

At least 63 people were killed and more than 200 injured in a series of synchronised blasts in Jaipur’s walled city area Tuesday evening.

The two officials also talked about relief operations in cyclone-hit Myanmar, which has been hostile to foreign aid from western nations. Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had in his telephone call to his Myanmarese counterpart urged him to accept international aid, which the latter had accepted.

But there were still reports of relief supplies of foreign aid agencies being confiscated and substandard food being distributed among the thousands of victims of Cyclone Nargis.

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