Washington, Feb 20: India will have a visit from the US president Barack Obama this year, a top official of the administration has said.
Addressing the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Friday, Feb 19, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, said that inviting Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh to US was its wayf oshowing the importance it attaches to India.
"President Obama has further underscored the importance of India to the United States by promising to make a reciprocal visit to India, most likely later this year," he said, without announcing the date of his likely visit.
He said that US considers India to be an indispensable partner of the country and share common ideals which would help in strengthening not only the relationship but also the international community.
"The United States and India share common ideals and complementary strengths reflected in our very close people-to-people contacts, our shared embrace of democratic principles and our willingness to work together on issues that matter not only to us, but to the global community," Blake said.
Blake said that the Indo-US was directed towards the progress of the entire world.
"Few relationships around the world matter more to our collective future, or hold greater promise for constructive action on the challenges that matter most to all of us, than the partnership between the United States and India."
"That doesn't mean that we will always agree, because we won't. But together we can build on the solid foundation that already exists, an even stronger partnership that serves not only the interests of our two countries, but of the rest of the international community," he said.
Speaking about the relationship between India and Pakistan, Blake said that US would wait for the two countries to sort out their problems on their own terms.
"While we would like to see India and Pakistan reach a stable relationship, they will do so on their terms at the appropriate time," he said.
Blake added that India, Pakistan and the US share the common the threat of terrorism.
Lauding India's assistance to countries affected by war, Blake pointed out New Delhi's assistance in reconstructing those countries both in infrastructure, like construction of the Parliament building and highways, and humanitarian fields like food aid to two million school children.
He said that India has pledged over $1.2 billion in assistance.