Hillary meets PM, Sonia; discusses Pak, terror

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has reached 7 Race Course Road, the official residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi:The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at 7 Race Course Road, the official residence of PM after meeting the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on late Monday.

Key strategic issues, including civil-nuclear cooperation, terrorism, situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iran and security were discussed between the PM and US Secretary of State.
Indicating that Mamata was high on her priority, Clinton arrived in Kolkata on Sunday in the first leg of her three-day visit to India, even before meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The meeting assumed significance as it was the first such exercise by any US Secretary of State.

Later, Clinton also met with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Further, Prime Minister outlined the opportunities in infrastructure area and also discussed ways to enhance economic ties, official sources said.

The US Secretary of State also conveyed her country`s expectations on the opening of FDI in retail sector as well as a new set of economic reforms by Indian government.

Both sides also talked about Iran and all aspects of Tehran`s engagement with the international community including India.

The US has been urging India and other countries to slash oil imports from Iran to step up pressure on Tehran to comply with international demands over its nuclear programme, with Clinton earlier in the day asking New Delhi to do even more on this front.

Singh and Clinton also talked about the situation in Afghanistan and the ways to sustain development and stability in the war-torn country after the withdrawal of Western troops by 2014.

Clinton, who had started her three-nation Asia trip with a visit to China to attend US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, briefed Singh about her "perceptions" of that country, sources said.

Asked if the issue of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed was also discussed, sources said all aspects of terrorism were discussed but refused to divulge specifics of the deliberations.

The two sides also talked about their respective ties with Pakistan.

While India`s ties with Pakistan are on an upward trajectory, US-Pak relations have been under strain for nearly an year and half.

However, Clinton had earlier been to Kolkata after Mother Teresa`s death in 1997 as the First Lady of the United States of America.

With agency inputs

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