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India may send troops to Iraq: Natwar

Press Trust of India

Posted: Jun 11, 2004 at 1135 hrs IST

With the UN unanimously adopting the resolution on Iraq, India has promised to have a new look on the issue of sending its troops to the war-ravaged country in the "changed situation."

"There is a resolution of the last Parliament on this issue in which we had given our opinion that we were against sending troops to Iraq. Now the situation has changed. There is a resolution unanimously passed in the United Nations and there are Arab members in it. We will look at it very carefully."

"But I must emphasize that this matter will have to be placed before the government at the highest levels, so it would be premature for me to say aye or nay," Foreign Minister Natwar Singh said after a 60-minute meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Singh, who is here to participate in former US President Ronald Reagan's memorial service, was addressing a joint press conference with Powell on Thursday.

The Foreign Minister, said India was following events in Iraq very carefully and was "delighted" that the US and UK tabled resolution had been unanimously adopted.

"That is a welcome step and we have always been in favour of the UN being involved in a central responsibility along with their friends and other members of the Security Council.

"With regard to Indian troops, nobody has asked us.

We'll look at the resolution very minutely. We are not in the Security Council. And we will take a decision when the time comes," Singh added.

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