NEW DELHI: India is unlikely to agree to a US request that it send troops to Iraq to participate in peacekeeping efforts, a news report said yesterday.
A formal announcement to this effect is expected after a meeting today of the Cabinet Committee on Security, the Hindu newspaper said.
The US request for peacekeeping troops came last month during a visit by Indian Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani to Washington. A team of US defence officials also visited New Delhi to discuss arrangements for an Indian deployment in Iraq.
But the New Delhi government said it would decide only after consulting with countries neighbouring Iraq and political parties at home.
Vajpayee has met with his alliance partners and opposition parties in recent weeks, but failed to achieve a consensus on dispatching troops, the Hindu report said.
It said Vajpayee is unlikely to risk political embarrassment at home, although the United States has repeatedly said that sending troops to Iraq would benefit India.
India depends on imports of oil from the Gulf region and had several energy-related agreements with Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq. – AP
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