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India, US Sharing Intelligence in Anti-Terrorism Campaign - 2001-10-03

Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh says his country is providing intelligence information to the United States as its contribution to the global campaign against terrorism. Mr. Singh spoke with reporters in London.

Foreign Minister Singh has held top-level meetings with British officials to discuss the war on terrorism. He met Prime Minister Tony Blair, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, and Defense Secretary Geoffrey Hoon.

Mr. Singh says there is broad sympathy and understanding among the British officials for India's recent losses to terrorism.

More than 250 Indians died in the attacks in New York City on September 11. Another 38 people died this week in a car bombing in Srinagar in Indian Kashmir.

Mr. Singh, who came to London after talks in Washington, says India is promising full cooperation with the United States to combat terrorism. However, he says there are no plans for Indian military involvement.

"Of course, whatever assistance is required from us with regard to intelligence exchange, et cetera, we will provide and we are providing," Mr. Singh said. " No military bases have been asked for from India. None are needed, and India has offered none."

Mr. Singh said India deeply regrets what has happened in the United States, but he pointed out that India has had its own long fight with Sikh and Kashmiri militants. "I'm saddened immensely [about] the tragedy in New York and Washington. But if you look at the essence of it, it is really the United States of America joining the fight that India has been fighting for the last 20 years," he said.

Mr. Singh's next destination is Berlin, where he plans talks Thursday with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and other officials.