India has rejected a U.S. request to send troops to Iraq as peacekeepers without an explicit United Nations mandate.

After a security cabinet meeting Monday in New Delhi, Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha told reporters that India would only consider sending troops to Iraq if there was a United Nations mandate for a peacekeeping force.

However, Mr. Sinha said India will contribute to the reconstruction of the war-torn country.

Washington had asked India for about 17,000 troops to join a stabilization force in Iraq.

Some Indian officials favored sending troops, but others opposed allowing Indian troops to be placed under U.S. and British command in Iraq.