Looking forward to India visit: Obama tells Krishna

US President Barack Obama has told External Affairs Minister SM Krishna that he was looking forward to his maiden visit to India in November.

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2010, 11:23 AM IST

New York: US President Barack Obama has told External Affairs Minister SM Krishna that he was looking forward to his maiden visit to India in November.

The two leaders met at the Natural History Museum here, where President Obama hosted a reception yesterday for world leaders gathered in the city to attend the UN General
Assembly.

Sources said Obama told Krishna that he was looking forward to his first visit to India in early November.

Earlier in the day, speaking at the annual General Assembly, Obama described India as a "thriving democracy."

"I will visit India, which peacefully threw off colonialism and established a thriving democracy of over a billion people," he said.

Meanwhile, Krishna has been busy with meeting his counterparts in bilateral sessions and multilateral sessions discussing several foreign policy issues ranging from climate
change to the Middle East peace talks.

Krishna had a "chance encounter" with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi yesterday at the UN for a few minutes in the parking lot. Both ministers greeted each other warmly and made inquiries about their stay in New York so far.

A meeting between the two ministers is expected but nothing has been firmed up, according to Indian diplomats.

Krishna will be speaking at a special session on disarmament later today, and he will also attend a Security Council meeting on the situation in Sudan where a referendum
is scheduled in January, which will decide whether South Sudan will secede from North Sudan.

Krishna will also meet the leaders from G4 (Brazil, India, Japan and Germany) countries that are all trying to get into the Security Council.

Later in the evening, Krishna will be hosting a reception for foreign dignitaries. Krishna is also scheduled to have a bilateral with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
later this week.

PTI