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Gatesway to arms sale

New Delhi, Feb. 26: US defence secretary Robert Gates arrived today to put India-US military-to-military relations beyond the purview of political equations surrounding the civilian nuclear deal.

But Gates is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee and leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani to gauge the mood in India over the future of the deal.

“We are certainly hopeful that India can get done what it needs to, so that we can get done what needs to be done,” news agencies quoted Gates as saying shortly after reaching here. Military-to-military relations, he said, would continue “independent of the civil nuclear agreement”.

The defence secretary’s main focus is on increasing sales of US military equipment to India. He is leading a delegation that includes Pentagon officials.

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