India, US look beyond nuclear deal

The PM is leaving for the US on Saturday on a five-day state visit. He will be the first state guest of President Barack Obama whose administration was inaugurated last January. “The visit provides an opportunity to renew India’s strategic partnership with the US,” foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said here on Friday.

India hopes that a deal to provide a new framework to Indo-US cooperation in the fight against terrorism could be signed during the visit.

After the two leaders meet on Tuesday, they are expected to declare a Singh-Obama Knowledge Initiative for enhancing cooperation in the field of education. Agreements for cooperation on renewable energy and agriculture may also be inked during the PM’s stay in Washington.

The foreign secretary said the entire gamut of India-US relations would be under focus during Singh’s meeting with Obama. She said they would discuss the global and regional security issues, particularly the situation in India’s neighbourhood, including Afghanistan where the US is engaged in a war on terror. “We have a stake in the success of the Af-Pak strategy of the US,” she added, while outlining the agenda for the PM’s visit to the US.

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