New Delhi: US senator and Republican party leader John McCain is stopping over in India for a couple of hours early evening today, en route from Iraq to Bangladesh, to show solidarity with the Mumbai terror attack victims. As many as 195 people were killed in the 26 November attack, including 28 foreigners, of which six were US nationals.
US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice is coming to New Delhi on 3 December, straight from a Nato (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) meeting in Brussels, carrying similar messages on how the US will closely work with India in fighting the global war against terror.
McCain, who lost to Democrat party leader Barack Obama in the US Presidential elections contested last month, will be accompanied by Senator Joseph Lieberman, a US embassy official in New Delhi said. The official said the two Republicans would be meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee.
A Western diplomat also confirmed that Washington had urged both McCain and Lieberman to stay away from India, in light of the security alert for US citizens, but both Republican leaders would not be deterred. Their visit is also a manifestation of the bipartisan nature of support within the US over assistance to India, especially on the Mumbai terror attacks.
The unnamed US official also told Mint that the fact that several US nationals were killed and a few score injured means that the Mumbai terror has a personal resonance within the US. “This is our fight too,” the official said, adding, “We share India’s outrage on this issue. We are not only showing support for India, we are doing this on our behalf too.”