Indo-US relationship has not plateaued: White House      

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Washington, Sep 25: Indo-US relationship is in "an active engagement stage" and Washington would like to keep it that way, the White House said today, strongly refuting the impression that bilateral ties have plateaued or are in drift.

The series of high-level exchanges between the two countries, including the India visit by the Vice President Joe Biden, early this year and now that of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama on Friday is not an indication of a relationship that has plateaued, a senior administration official said.

"Those are indications of a relationship, which is in active engagement stage. And that is the place where we want to keep it because of the strategic partnership in the 21st century and scaling that trajectory," the official told Indian reporters in a conference call on the eve of the arrival of Singh in Washington.

Singh is scheduled to arrive in Washington tomorrow on a two-day working visit to the American capital wherein he would meet the Obama at the White House on Friday.

Following the meeting, during which the two leaders are expected to discuss a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues, Singh and Obama are likely to give brief statements to the press without taking any questions and then head for luncheon hosted by the President for Singh.

The purpose of this "short working visit" is both to reflect and appreciate the decade of this transformation and the commitments of the leaders in the government to the strategic partnership, the official said.

The purpose is also to "set out a road map for the path ahead", the official added, noting that the road map would carry forward through the upcoming events which include certainly the Indian elections.

"I think, if you look at the relationship over the course of the past decade, its remarkable that some of the most contentious issues which would include defence co-operation, nuclear energy and access to high technology items are the centre piece to this relationship today," the official said.

PTI

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