US shared intelligence with valuable strategic partner India before 26/11: Roemer

New Delhi, Oct. 28 (ANI): U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer has clarified that Washington did share regular and consistent information with New Delhi prior to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and even later as Washington regarded New Delhi as a valuable strategic partner.

Interacting with media persons here on Wednesday, Roemer said: "The Washington Post got it right.

They reported when they first broke the story that the United States shared intelligence on a regular basis and consistent basis with the Government of India prior to the Mumbai attacks. We also have shared information with the Government of India after the Mumbai attack. It is now historic and unprecedented in nature. It is saving lives on a daily basis."

He further said that United States is not afraid of what Headley tells India.

"When India asked America for access to David Headley, we gave it because India is our strategic partner and friend and somebody who we share intelligence with, on a regular and consistent basis.

So India can sit down with Mr. Headley and ask him what happened prior to Mumbai and what we shared. We weren't afraid of what he would say and that we provided that opportunity for India to ask anything they want with that unprecedented access," added Roemer.

Roemer's comments are being viewed as significant since these were in response to Union Home Secretary G K Pillai's interview to a private television channel.

Pillai had said that Washington had not passed on information early enough on David Headley, a US citizen linked with the Mumbai attacks, despite intelligence available with the United States that he had been in India on a reconnaissance trip.

Headley has pleaded guilty to a dozen US terrorism charges related to the Mumbai attacks.

Roemer discounted any notion that Washington was withholding information from New Delhi.

US President Obama is due to visit India in early November, at a time when India has voiced its disappointment that the Washington is not fully forthcoming on sharing intelligence linked to the 2008 militant attack on Mumbai that killed 166 people. (ANI)

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