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Updated: January 22, 2010 17:21 IST

Ties with India very important: U.S.

PTI
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Prime Minister Manmohan and U.S. President Barack Obama during a ceremony in the White House, Washington. File photo: PTI
PTI Prime Minister Manmohan and U.S. President Barack Obama during a ceremony in the White House, Washington. File photo: PTI

As Obama Administration completed its first year in office, the White House has said that partnership with India is “critical and very important“.

“It should be clear that we continue here at the White House and in the National Security Council to view the partnership with India is critical and very important,” Mike Hammer, White House spokesman told PTI on Thursday on the occasion of U.S. President Barack Obama completing one year in office.

In the words of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it launched third phase —— Indo-US 3.0 —— of relationship with New Delhi.

For Indo-US relationship, one of the key features of the second year of Obama Administration would be Obama’s visit to India sometime this year.

“The President very much looks forward to visit India this year, but do not have any concrete announcement to make regarding that visit,” Mr. Hammer said.

It was during the State Visit of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November that Mr. Obama said he has accepted the invitation to visit India this year.

Mr. Obama is expected to take his entire family to India on his first ever visit to the country.

“President Obama had made priority in the first year of his Administration to a develop close partnership with India to build on the previous administration’s work.

And fully realising that there is a great potential for growth and further work between our two countries in advancing a common agenda on major issues of concern to the global community, which include issues like economic development, like climate change, energy, and also promoting peace around the globe,” Mr. Hammer said reviewing Indo-US relationship in the first year of the Administration.

“In that spirit the President had his first and the only State Dinner with Prime Minister Singh.

That event marked really the closeness and bonds between our two countries and really reflected the deep affection that there is for India and the contributions as well the Indian-Americans make to American society,” said the White House spokesperson.

It was during this administration that the White House appointed a senior director level official at the National Security Council to exclusively handle America’s relationship with India, he pointed out.

The first year also included important visits by the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defence Secretary Robert Gates, National Security Advisor James Jones.

“So we see a continuing already of that deep engagement this year with the recent visit of Secretary Gates.

I fully anticipate that every effort would be made on the part of the United States to forge an even deeper partnership with India in this coming year,” Mr. Hammer said.

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