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US wants India to be a key global player

By Lalit K Jha in Washington
July 17, 2009 09:20 IST
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Hours before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left Washington on her maiden visit to India, the United States said New Delhi can play a very constructive role not only in the region, but also as a global player.

"We want to truly look forward, and look at this relationship as something that can be very constructive in the kind of role that India can play not just in the region, but as a global player too," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters.

The trip to Mumbai and New Delhi, he said, would "focus on bilateral relationship and partnership". Kelly said Clinton is genuinely excited about this trip and is really looking forward to spending three full says in India.

"We hope to conclude some bilateral agreements. Secretary Clinton for the first two days it is going to be doing people to people interactions, which she of course enjoys very much and gives a lot of importance to," he said.

Terming the terror attack on Mumbai last year as a horrific incident, Kelly said Clinton would be paying tribute to the people who suffered this attack by commemorating the event. The US is hopeful of signing a few agreements with India during the trip, he said.

The US termed as 'positive development' the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan.

"We are very encouraged by the positive signals coming out of these talks," Kelly told reporters, referring to the talks Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with his Pakistani counterpart Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.

"The initial indications are that these are positive developments," Kelly said, without going into details.

The talks were held in Egypt's Sharm-el-Sheikh on Thursday on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement summit, during which the two leaders agreed that a dialogue between the two countries is the only way forward.

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Lalit K Jha in Washington
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