[World News]: Washington, Nov 2 : US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage will travel to South Asia and the Near East from Nov 4 to 12.
The news of Armitage's visit to the subcontinent had been earlier reported in the South Asian press, and while the State Department did not provide an itinerary, it is reported he will be in Pakistan Nov 7.
He is expected to discuss a wide range of issues with officials in both India and Pakistan, including bilateral relations, regional issues, the global war on terrorism, supporting Iraq's reconstruction and transition to democracy.
Coming just two days after the Nov 2 US presidential elections, the visit would reassure countries on the continuity of relations regardless of which administration rules the White House.
Earlier press reports noted that Armitage would discuss developing India-Pakistan talks along with bilateral US-India relations.
The Armitage visit to Pakistan takes place just as outgoing US Ambassador to Pakistan Nancy Powell leaves Islamabad Nov 5 and her successor Ryan Crocker comes to Islamabad Nov 7.
In his July visit to Pakistan, Armitage had stressed that Pakistan needed to uproot all terrorists from its soil.
With India, the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) are sure to make the agenda, as will the Kashmir issue and the potential for sale of F-16 aircraft to Pakistan.
--Indo-Asian News Service