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Foreign Secretary and Indian ministers to visit US

Written by: Staff

Washigton, Mar 25 (UNI) Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran and senior Indian ministers are scheduled to visit the United States in the coming weeks, reflecting the importance the two countries are attaching to bilateral relations after they concluded a landmark deal on civilian nuclear energy cooperation.

The Foreign Secretary, who will be here from March 28-31, will hold bilateral discussions with his US counterpart, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns.

Mr Saran is also slated to call on the members of the US Congress, and other senior officials in the Bush administration in a bid to clarify any lingering doubts about the Indo-US nuclear deal reached between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President George W Bush during the latter's visit to New Delhi earlier this month.

He will also give a talk on 'Indo-US Relations: An agenda for the future' on March 30 at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington.

Before flying back to New Delhi on March 31, he will address a press conference at the Indian Embassy.

Besides Mr Saran, a host of Indian ministers and officials, including Petroleum Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora, Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia are expected to be here later this month to participate in several meetings and events.

Mr Deora will be on a visit to the US from March 29 to participate in the US Energy Association Annual Meeting and other events.

He is expected to be in Washington DC from April 2-4, to deliver a keynote address at the US Energy Association Annual General Meeting.

The US-India Business Council will host the Minister and a delegation of government and private sector representatives for an afternoon roundtable at the US Chamber of Commerce. Ambassador Frank G Wisner will chair the meeting.

Senior leaders of small, medium, and large oil and gas companies, engineering firms, and equity investors are expected to participate in the roundtable.

The Minister will be in Houston, Texas, from March 29 to April 1, to participate in Roadshows to launch the sixth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-VI) and third round of Coal Bed Methane (CBM-III).

Mr Sibal, who will be in the US from April 4-11, will launch the India-US Biotech Working Group in New York on April 5.

The Minister is expected to be in Washington DC, from April 6 to April 8, to discuss matters relating to constitution of the Indo-US Science and Technology Bi-National Commission with the Department of State.

He will address a knowledge initiative meeting, jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry/Technology and Innovation in Education, DC/Pan IIT (Indian Institute of Technology alumni).

Mr Sibal will also visit some premier institutions, like the National Institute of Health, before proceeding to Chicago where he will address BIO-2006, a Ministerial Conference on Biotechnology and an India Seminar on Food and Agriculture.

Mr Shinde will participate in a roundtable discussion being organised by the USIBC and FICCI to discuss foreign investment and industry issues related to India's power sector during his visit to Washington DC from April 24-27.

The Government of India has announced plans to implement five ultra mega power plants, each having a minimum capacity of 4,000 MW.

Mr Shinde will also visit New York, Chicago and Los Angeles where he will meet with the representatives of the US Industry to seek investment in the power and energy sector in India.

The Planning Commission Deputy Chairman is slated to visit the US in the third week of April.

Dr Ahluwalia, who is expected to be here between April 19 to April 21, will deliver an address at American Enterprise Institute and attend meetings at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

He is also scheduled to participate in a special session at the US India Business Council (USIBC).


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