Obama committed ‘true global, strategic partnership’ with India

By Arun Kumar, IANS
Saturday, January 29, 2011

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama has reaffirmed his commitment to building a “true global, strategic partnership” with India at a meeting with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon.

Obama dropped in as Menon was meeting with his American counterpart Tom Donilon at the White House Friday and stayed on for about 15 minutes reflecting his focus on strengthening the India-US relationship.

“The president joined the meeting and reaffirmed his commitment to building a true global, strategic partnership with India,” the White House said in a readout released Saturday.

“The president relayed his priorities for the coming year, including advancing our bilateral economic relationship and making progress on nuclear security efforts,” it said.

“Donilon and Menon discussed ways to advance our bilateral agenda over the coming year, including the implementation of initiatives launched during the summit, as well as building new platforms for collaboration that fulfil the promise of our global strategic partnership.

“The two also had candid, in-depth discussions on regional and global issues of mutual concern,” the White House said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also Friday hosted a lunch for Menon, who is here to review the implementation of initiatives launched during the India visit of Obama in November and discuss developments in India-US bilateral relationship in preparation for their Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi in April.

She had initially scheduled a dinner for Menon Thursday, but it had to be postponed because Menon reached Washington late Thursday bight due to a major snow storm in the region.

Menon also met Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns.

“Our US-India Strategic Dialogue is premised on ourstrong support for India’s role as an important actor on the international stage,” P.J. Crowley, the State Department spokesman, said ahead of the meeting.

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

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