Jones visit to lay groundwork for Obama's India visit

During his three-day trip following the invitation of his Indian counterpart Shivshankar Menon, Jones will have discussions on a full range of strategic partnership being developed between the two countries.

Jones will be visiting New Delhi from July 14 to 16 after travelling to Paris and Brussels during his trip that begins tomorrow.

"During his visit to New Delhi, the General will meet with National Security Adviser Menon and other senior Indian officials to discuss a full range of subjects key to the strategic partnership we are developing with India, including counter-terrorism cooperation, regional security, defence cooperation and export controls," National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said.

"General Jones will also have an opportunity begin laying the groundwork for a successful visit by President Obama to India in November," Hammer said in a statement issued yesterday.

Obama is scheduled to visit India from November 7 to 10, a senior US administration official said, adding that the First Lady would also travel with the President to New Delhi.
"I look forward to advancing our partnership, to experiencing all that India and its people and its incredible ancient culture have to offer," Obama had said on June 3 at a reception hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in honour of India's External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.

In an interview to the Press Trust of India (PTI) in June, General Jones had said the Indo-US strategic dialogue is taking the relationship to unprecedented levels of cooperation between the two countries.

"India is on a path of ascendancy. It is destined to be a nation of global influence. It is extremely important that in the globe that countries like India and United States when they can have a national affinity for one another as expressed by the strong friendship that exists between in respect that exists between the two heads of State that this relationship can grow," Jones had said.

Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have laid out a strategic approach that is based on long term commitment and not just short term self-interest, in America's case the presence in the region, he had said.

"We have worked very hard to be mutually transparent in how we see things and there is a certain honesty and vibrancy about the relationship - it is frankly very pleasurable, it is open, it is honest, we have tried very hard to keep our Indian colleagues fully appraised of our strategy in Afghanistan, why we are there, what we hope to achieve, how we achieve," the senior official had said.

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