UK's Mandelson seeks to assuage India on Miliband's Kashmir' gaffe

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London, Jan.25 (ANI): British Secretary of State for Business Peter Mandelson has taken steps to assuage India's hurt feelings over remarks made by Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

Miliband enraged the Indian leadership last week by linking the terror attacks in Mumbai to the Kashmir dispute in a newspaper article for the Guardian. New Delhi ministers and officials also complained he had been a "disaster" and "arrogant" during his talks with both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Though Miliband said that India is now treating the matter as a "closed chapter", according to The Independent, the Secretary of State for Business, has "expressed Britain's solidarity with India and in tracking down suspects of the Mumbai terror attacks".

The disclosure that Lord Mandelson came to the rescue of Miliband will embarrass him further.

It has left the impression of the Cabinet veteran being forced to clean up after the mess left by his "novice" younger colleague in India, a country which places huge emphasis on respect for elders.

The shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said yesterday: "It is becoming clear that David Miliband's India tour was a serious diplomatic disaster. To have to be rescued by Lord Mandelson adds political humiliation on top of that." (ANI)

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