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US Withdraws India Travel Warning - 2002-07-22

The United States has withdrawn a public warning against travel by U.S. citizens to India. The announcement, which cites an easing of military tensions between India and Pakistan, comes in advance of a South Asia visit by Secretary of State Colin Powell next weekend.

In early June, when U.S. officials feared an outbreak of war over Kashmir, the State Department was warning Americans to defer travel to India, and strongly urging those already there to leave. But it has been easing the language of its travel advisories. And the latest statement, released Monday, effectively ends travel restrictions.

While noting that a military mobilization between India and Pakistan continues, it says tensions have further subsided and cites a "return to normalcy" in most aspects of Indian life. American travelers are advised to monitor news about the political situation, but it says U.S. government personnel are now being allowed to travel freely and says U.S. dependents given the option of leaving India in June may now return.

The new statement precedes a two-day visit to India and Pakistan next weekend by Secretary of State Powell, who will seek a further easing of tensions and renewed dialogue between the regional powers.

A U.S. travel warning remains in effect for Pakistan because of the danger of terror attacks like the June 14 car bombing outside the U.S. consulate in Karachi.