On Air India One, Oct. 30 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Saturday, said that he was looking forward to the four-day visit of US President Barack Obama in the first week of November, and added that he believed that both countries were entering a new phase in their bilateral ties.
Interacting with media persons accompanying him a three-nation visit (to Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam) on a wide range of subjects onboard his special aircraft, Dr. Singh said: "I think India and United States have entered a new phase. There is cordiality; there is understanding, and, its our common desire to bring about a qualitative change in our relationship."
He further said: "We have economic interaction; strategic interaction. We are strategic partners, and therefore, there are many areas we have where I think there is interest (bilaterally). We must explore with US to find out if there is commonality."
President Obama and US First Lady Michelle Obama are due to visit Mumbai (November 6 and 7) and New Delhi (November 7 to 9).
They will use the trip to interact with survivors of the 26/11 terror strike in Mumbai, visit Mani Bhavan where Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi used to stay whenever he was in Mumbai, interact with captains of Indian and American industry. In Delhi, they are expected to have a private dinner with the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur, visit Humayun's tomb, have bilateral talks with the Indian leadership and sign several agreements of mutual interest to the two countries and meet President Pratibha Devisingh Patil. They will also attend a state banquet hosted by the Indian president before departing for Indonesian capital Jakarta.
According to US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, President Obama would come with a message of peace to the region during his visit to India.
Munter also said that the United States would support any effort by Pakistan and India to resolve the longstanding issue of Jammu and Kashmir bilaterally.
The US President would convey to India that Pakistan and India could find solution to the regional issues by working together, he added. By Naveen Kapoor(ANI)