Kolkata: President Barack Obama`s visit
next month would be an "extraordinary milestone" in Indo-US
relations as the partnership between the countries had never
mattered more than it did now, a top US official said on Friday.
"There has never been a moment when Indians and
Americans have mattered more to each other than they do today.
There has never been a moment when partnership between India
and the US mattered more than the rest of the world as it
does now," US Under Secretary for Political Affairs William
J Burns told reporters here.
Burns, who is visiting India along with US Assistant
Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert O Blake
as the head of an official delegation ahead of President
Obama`s visit to the country next month, said it would be an
"extraordinary milestone" in Indo-US relations.
Kolkata was an increasingly strategic state for
cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region for both India and the
US, the official said.
"Kolkata, being India`s window to the East, offers
interesting perspective on the growth of East Asia."
Stating that relations between countries were not
confined to their respective capitals, but to their societies,
Burns said, "Kolkata is important in this, because its
intellectual and cultural leaders are known not only in India,
but all over the world."
Earlier in the day, Burns visited the Missionaries of
Charity headquarters here and offered floral tributes at the
tomb of Mother Teresa.
"It is a humbling and moving experience to visit
Mother House," he said and observed that both India and the
US had a common interest in serving the poor.
Burns also met West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan over