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Krishna, Clinton discuss Obama, terror, Pak

Last updated on: September 28, 2010 10:15 IST

Krishna, Clinton discuss Obama, terror, Pak

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United States President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to India was the major focus of Monday's bilateral meeting between External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who met at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said that although a host of other issues, including the Nuclear Liability Bill, terrorism, export controls and the constructive role that India is playing in Afghanistan figured in the talks, the upcoming Obama visit was also high on the agenda. The two sides discussed the substantive preparations for the visit.

"The focus of today's discussion was on the visit and preparations for the milestone event by the President," Rao said. "At the meeting, they (Clinton and Krishna) focused on President Obama's meeting and expressed satisfaction on the state of preparation," she said.

Reportage: Suman Mozumder


Image: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Photographs: Jay Mandal/On Assignment
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Kashmir issue not discussed

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Rao said she had visited Washington DC last week in connection with preparations for the visit and also met Clinton, besides Undersecretary of State Bill Burns and National Security Advisor Jim Jones. "I also had a discussion on export controls and their removal because we felt a true reflection of our strategic partnership would be to tackle certain issues that have been left over from the past," she said.

She said that the Nuclear Liability Bill did come up for discussions and that the US administration has raised some issues. "India told Clinton about the Parliamentary process that we have in India and its importance (for the passage). Minister Krishna conveyed to Clinton the importance of building of consensus in India. I think the US understands that process and (the contentious) nature of our democracy that we often celebrate in India,' she said.

Rao told reporters that the Kashmir issue did not come up at the meeting, although there were talks about eradicating terrorism from Afghanistan and strengthen forces of democracy within Pakistan.


Photographs: Jay Mandal/On Assignment
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'It was a very warm and focused meeting'

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On the issue of H1-B visa, India expressed its concerns and the risks involved in protectionist sentiments that take away from positive cooperation and economic interaction.

"The sentiment was understood by the US side during the conversation. They were agreeable to the fact that we need to discuss these issues and try and resolve them. As I said before, the sum of the relationship is greater than the parts, and what we have before us is a growing strategic dialogue and a growing partnership," Rao said.

''Overall, it was a very warm and focused meeting between Krishna and Clinton,' she said.


Image: Hillary Clinton with Nirupama Rao
Photographs: Jay Mandal/On Assignment
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