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Hillary Clinton in Kolkata, to meet Mamata tomorrow

Hillary Clinton who is on second ever visit to Kolkata is expected to pitch for FDI in retail and discuss India-Bangladesh ties with Mamata Banerjee.



Zeenews Bureau

Kolkata: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived on a three-day visit to India on Sunday. She is scheduled to meet West Bengal`s first woman Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday.

Hillary Clinton, 64, flew into Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport on a special flight from Dhaka at 12.55 pm, running 15 minutes behind schedule, and was received by two bureaucrats of the state government.

The US Secretary of State arrived here from Bangladesh capital Dhaka and is tentatively scheduled to attend a programme at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations on issues relating to women. She would later visit the Victoria Memorial.

She waved to the waiting camerapersons at the airport and posed for photos before boarding a limousine which headed for her hotel in South Kolkata amid tight security.
Hillary who is on second-ever visit to Kolkata is expected to pitch for foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail and discuss India-Bangladesh ties with Mamata Banerjee.

Interestingly, Trinamool Congress chief has been the toughest roadblock for the UPA government in opening up of FDI in retail.

Speculation is rife that Hillary - who is to meet Banerjee after her meeting with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina - would raise the issue of the Teesta Water Treaty between India and Bangladesh, which was sent into cold storage due to Banerjee`s opposition last year.

The Teesta treaty was proposed to be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s trip to Dhaka last year. But the signing was scrapped following Banerjee`s last minute opposition to the quantum of water to be shared with Bangladesh.
Civil nuclear cooperation, regional security and Iran are among the key issues that Hillary Clinton is expected to discuss with External Affairs Minister SM Krishna during their meeting on Tuesday.

During her stay in the national capital, she is expected to call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apart from holding talks with Krishna, during which they will also review progress made in their countries` strategic partnership ahead of the India-US strategic dialogue to be held in Washington on June 13.

The meeting between Hillary Clinton and Indian leaders gains significance as it comes immediately after her high-level talks in China and ahead of the crucial NATO summit in Chicago, where some important decisions are expected to be made on Afghanistan.

"The entire gamut of bilateral relationship apart from all those issues which impinge on the Indo-US partnership will be discussed," an official source said here.

“Both sides will discuss civil nuclear cooperation and regional security situation with New Delhi expected to brief the US Secretary on its proposed regional investors` meet here to discuss economic development of Afghanistan,” sources said.

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