`Obama`s visit defining moment in Indo-US ties`
New York: India and the US dubbed President
Barack Obama`s visit to India in November as a "defining
moment", during a bilateral meeting between External Affairs
Minister SM Krishna and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
During the 30-minute meeting, both the leaders discussed
several issues including Afghanistan, floods in Pakistan,
climate change talks, Indo-US nuclear co-operation and
sanctions on Iran.
"A defining moment in the history of our bilateral
relations," is how the two leaders described Obama`s visit,
according to Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for
South and Central Asia.
Blake further pointed out that the Obama administration
realised that "everyone had a stake in India`s emergence as a
global power" and described the "reciprocal visit" as
"momentous and consequential".
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was Obama`s first state
guest, last year.
Blake described the rest of the meeting as "very friendly
and useful," and also noted that Security Council reform would
also be discussed during Obama`s upcoming visit.
Blake, however, did not indicate which way the US was
leaning, and only said that the reforms were "under
Clinton thanked India for its commitment to Afghanistan
and the developmental assistance it had provided.
Both the leaders agreed that New Delhi and Washington
needed to work closely on climate change related issues ahead
of the conference in Cancun, at the end of the year.
Clinton told Krishna that US felt that the sanctions
against Iran were working and hoped that the international
community would support these sanctions.
Commenting on Indo-Pak ties, Blake said there were bound
to be "irritants" in the "complicated relationship" shared by
India and Pakistan.
Pakistan`s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, this
week, called for US intervention in Kashmir.
Blake, however, noted that the Kashmir issue was not
discussed at the meeting.
Clinton noted that she looked forward to meeting Defence
Minister AK Antony and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Blake and US Under Secretary of State for Political
Affairs William Burns, will be visiting India before Obama`s
first presidential visit to the country.
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