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Army Chief`s US visit scuttled due to Obama government’s shutdown

The US government shutdown has led to the scuttling of a visit by Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh to the country scheduled for later this month.



New Delhi: The US government shutdown has led to the scuttling of a visit by Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh to the country scheduled for later this month.
The visit by the Army Chief has been put off in view of the government shutdown in the US. He was earlier set to visit the country later this month, Army sources told.

The visit has been put off at a time when the Army has been facing the challenges of tackling an infiltration attempt by terrorists backed by suspected Pakistan Army special forces in the Keran sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Army Chief will now visit the US later this year after mutually-convenient dates are agreed between the sides, sources said.

The government shutdown in the US has also seen President Barack Obama postponing his first visit to Malaysia and the Philippines next week.

Starting this month, the US government closed non- essential operations after the US Congress failed to strike a deal on spending and budget due to differences over `Obamacare`, Obama`s signature healthcare programme.

Republicans and Democrats are blaming each other for the impasse.

The US shutdown has left nearly 800,000 employees on unpaid leave and closed national parks, tourist sites, official websites, office buildings, etc. And the prolonged stalemate is likely to have repercussions around the globe.

The Army Chief was expected to discuss a number of defence deals with his American counterparts, including the proposal to procure 145 Ultra Light Howitzers for the Corps of Artillery.

PTI

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