There is an air of anticipation in India and people are looking forward to the presidential visit, said a top American diplomat, who returned from New Delhi a few days ago giving final shape to the next week visit of United States President Barack Obama to India.

“The mood I found was positive, an air of anticipation, a lot of interest in how we can work together to translate all the progress of recent years into sort of further tangible benefits that both Indians and Americans can see,” Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns told reporters at a special White House news conference.

Mr. Burns said he was in India a few days ago. It was his fourth trip to India in little more than a year.

“This was to help prepare for the President’s visit,” he said.

The Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication, Ben Rhodes, said it is a not coincidence that India is the first stop on a major trip to Asia.

“Asia is a focus, as I’ve said. And we see India as a cornerstone of our engagement with this hugely important region of the world. And we believe that we have shared interests with India on a broad range of issues, but we also have shared values, because we’re two democracies,” he said.

“The kind of relationship that we have as the world’s two largest democracies is relevant to our ability to have a deep, bilateral partnership, but also to work together in the region and around the world,” Mr. Rhodes said.

“The fact that the President will spend three days in India, the longest single foreign visit of his presidency so far, the fact that this follows the first state visit of the Obama presidency by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year, the fact that India is the first stop on a trip to four major Asian Democratic partners all of that underscores the significance and the potential of Indian/American partnership,” Mr. Burns said.

Keywords: India-U.S. tiesUNSC