The Pentagon has had longstanding contacts with India on missile defense issues but is not in talks to sell it missile defense systems, a defense spokesman said. "The United States and India currently are not discussing the sale of any U.S. missile defense systems to India," said Lieutenant Colonel Stewart Upton. A U.S. daily, citing U.S. embassy officials in New Delhi, said the United States was in preliminary talks about sales of U.S. missile shield systems to guard New Delhi against nuclear threats. A U.S. defense official described the interaction with the Indians as being on "a very rudimentary level." "We have invited them to observe two tests this year to facilitate discussions of the two countries' ballistic missile defense test programs," the official said. But the official said the invitation was extended with the understanding that it did not signal "U.S. intention or willingness to sell the systems involved."