Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is set to depart for Mumbai at the behest of President George W. Bush to gain insights into the horrific attacks of the last three days. Bush and Rice have been intent on combatting terror, though their regime has been witness to numerous attacks both in the United States, and in Europe and Asia.
She has been in contact with the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in recent days to ease tensions between the nuclear states, and this is expected to be a dominant theme in her meetings with Indian officials.
Earlier, Mr Bush called Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to again offer US support and condolences for the victims and their families of the attacks, which claimed the lives of nearly 200 people and injured scores more.
Five Americans were killed in the attacks in which gunmen stormed Mumbai’s top luxury hotels, its biggest railway station, a Jewish center, and several other sites in the financial capital.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Ms Rice decided to “modify” her European trip, cutting out meetings in Rome to go personally to India.
“We thought it was important to take this moment to travel to Delhi to express the condolences of the U.S. people directly to the government of India and its people and to hold face-to-face meetings,” Mr McCormack said.
“It is very sad that India has experienced this level of terrorism. There will be discussions about how to move forward.”