Ahead of the Indo-U.S. strategic dialogue, an Obama Administration official termed India as a "great and emerging global power" and said the talks, next week, will take the relationship between the two nations to a new level.
"I think the strategic dialogue speaks for itself.
India is a great and emerging global power. Our range of interests are significant in terms of the environment, in terms of regional security, in terms of counterterrorism, economic issues," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters here.
Leading a high-power delegation of several Cabinet Ministers, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna is scheduled to arrive in Washington in the next couple of days for the first Indo-U.S. Strategic Dialogue from June 1 to June 4.
While the names of the Indian delegation have not been announced yet, it is expected that it would include Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal; Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia; Minister for Science and Technology Prithvitaj Chauhan; and Foreign Secretary, Nirupama Rao.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - who returned from her week-long three-nation Asia trip from Japan, China and Seoul - would lead the American delegation.
During Mr. Clinton?s visit to India, last year, it was decided that the strategic dialogue should be launched between the two countries.
"We have very strong cultural ties to India, so we look forward to the strategic dialogue. It's something that the Secretary and the President (of the U.S.) felt important to elevate the level of our coordination and cooperation. So we look forward to the dialogue," Mr. Crowley said in response to a question.
"I think our relations with India have never been stronger. We are talking about the relations between the largest and oldest democracies in the world. We have a great deal in common and we look forward to the meetings next week," Mr. Crowley said.