Obama visit will see ‘full range’ of strategic partnership

By Arun Kumar, IANS
Thursday, October 14, 2010

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama’s November visit to India will see the “full range” of issues on which the two countries are working as they establish a “true strategic partnership,” according to US officials.

“The president’s trip will take stock of the advancement of the relationship” between world’s only superpower and the emerging global power from Asia, a senior administration official told reporters talking about the significance of the visit.

“We are engaged in a wide range of issues working intensively on regional issues but also global issues,” he said.

“In the president’s trip you will see the full range of the issues with which the two countries are working,” the official added.

“With this administration, you have seen the elevation and development of the relationship,” the official said noting that successive US administrations starting with former president Bill Clinton placed great emphasis on ties with India.

While the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal was the highlight of the previous Bush administration, anti-terror co-operation between the two countries has really picked up during the Obama administration.

This is reflected in the number of trips that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) chiefs have made to India in less than two years now, officials said.

Obama is expected to start his trip from India’s financial capital Mumbai in recognition of India’s emerging economic clout as also the influence Bollywood, the world’s biggest film industry, spreads all over the world.

His overnight stay in Mumbai, officials said, would also be a tribute to those killed in the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack and a show of solidarity with India against its war against terrorism.

As president-elect Obama was among the first few American leaders to call the then Indian ambassador to the US, Ronen Sen, in the immediate aftermath of the Mumbai attack and had vowed to work with India to bring the perpetrators to justice.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

will not be displayed