Obama confirms November visit to India

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Washington, June 4 (ANI): US President Barack Obama on Thursday confirmed that he would be visiting in November this along with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Dropping in at a State Department reception hosted for visiting Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, President Obama said that he had accepted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's invitation to visit India last week, and added that during his stay in New Delhi, he hoped to sustain the momentum of the US-India partnership and take it to a higher level.

"During his state visit (in November 2009), the Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) graciously invited me and my family to visit India this year, and I happily accepted. And as I confirmed to him when we spoke last week, I am delighted to announce tonight (Thursday) that I plan to visit India in early November," said Obama.

"I look forward to advancing our partnership, to experiencing all that India and its people and its incredible ancient culture have to offer-and I intend to create an "Obama Platter," the Washington Post quoted the American President as saying further.

The Obama administration is hosting a high-level dialogue this week with India, part of an ongoing effort to convince India that Washington cares about more than counter-terrorism in the region and supports India's claim to global power.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna headed a high-level delegation at a State Department meeting Thursday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, national security adviser James L. Jones and other senior officials.

The meeting follows similar "strategic dialogue" sessions with Afghanistan last month and Pakistan in March.

The White House has put considerable effort into wooing India, which it sees as a potentially major international trade and security partner.

In his National Security Strategy released last week, Obama said the U.S.-India alliance would be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century, along with U.S. ties with other "emerging powers." (ANI)

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