The Times of India
Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), was sworn-in as the new US Defence Secretary, in the midst of a controversy over his remarks that India "financed problems" for Pakistan in Afghanistan...
Hagel's confirmation comes as a great relief for the Obama Administration as his nomination was held up for weeks and the Democrats and the White House had to do a tough convincing act to get him approved by the Senate...
Several Republican Senators are said to have voted in favour of Hagel despite their reservations over his past statements and votes. They argued that he was too critical of Israel and too compromising with Iran.
Republicans have also been irked by Hagel's views on Nato as he had in a speech questioned the utility and relevance of the US-led force...
Welcoming the confirmation, President Obama said Hagel is the kind of Defence Secretary America needs.
Hagel's confirmation came a day after a video containing his remarks surfaced in which he claimed, "India for some time has always used Afghanistan as a second front, and India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border".
Reacting to this, the Indian Embassy said, "Such comments attributed to Senator Hagel, who has been a long- standing friend of India and a prominent votary of close India-US relations are contrary to the reality of India's unbounded dedication to the welfare of Afghan people."
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 02/27/2013
Editor's Note: Right out of the box, too...
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