Prior to his departure for the first state visit under the Obama Administration, Prime Minister on Saturday said India attaches high priority to its relations with the U.S. In a pre-departure statement, Manmohan Singh said India was looking forward to building its Strategic Dialogue with the U.S. by adding greater substance to our cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, services, energy, science and technology, defence, high technology trade, education, agriculture and health.

Range of issues

At the bilateral level, Dr. Singh was looking forward to exchanging views with Mr. Obama on the major global threats and challenges such as international terrorism, climate change, the global economic slowdown, the Doha round of trade negotiations, and nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. He would also discuss the situation in Afghanistan and other regional issues.

Noting that the last several years have witnessed a transformation in India-U.S. relations, the Prime Minister noted that the Indo-U.S. bilateral agenda covered almost all areas of human endeavour. The U.S. was India’s largest trading partner in goods and services and the economic ties ran deep. There is also a large Indian American community and robust people-to-people exchanges. “Above all, we share common values and commitment to democracy, pluralism and human rights,” he observed.

After visiting Washington, Dr. Singh will travel to Port of Spain to attend the meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government.

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