Obama, Manmohan Singh to meet in Bali Nov 18

November 10th, 2011 - 11:42 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Nov 10 (IANS) Describing India as an important security and counterterrorism partner in South Asia, the White House has said President Barack Obama will meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Bali on Nov 18.

Meeting for the first time at the East Asia Summit after about a year, the two leaders are expected to review the progress of their bi-lateral ties since Obama’s visit to India last November, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters Wednesday.

They would also discuss their deepening economic and commercial ties besides a wide range of other issues including Afghanistan, economic ties and security relationship, he said.

“India, of course, as a rapidly growing economy, as a strong democracy and as an important security partner and counterterrorism partner in South Asia, is a very important relationship to the United States,” Rhodes said.

From the beginning of Obama administration, the US “had engaged the emerging powers in the Asia Pacific — China and India, Indonesia and others — as well as engaged regional institutions, like APEC and the East Asia Summit,” he said.

In a major speech in Australia, Obama will focus on the US efforts over “the last three years to strengthen our core alliances to engage emerging powers like China and India and others, and to engage Asian regional institutions like APEC and the East Asia Summit.”

Noting that “in addition to almost all of our key allies in the region, we’re meeting with China, Russia, India,” Rhodes said, “They will have the opportunity to discuss issues like Iran, which are particularly important in the wake of the IAEA report, as well as discussing Afghanistan in the lead-up to some important international conferences on Afghanistan.”

So it’s also an opportunity to check in on Asia-Pacific issues, but also a number of other global issues,” he said noting that “this is a region that sees a lot of rapidly developing change, including the rise of China.”

“But in that context, the US wants to, again, make it clear that we are going to continue to be a strong Asia-Pacific power; that we’re going to continue to stand by our core alliances; that we’re going to build positive relationships with emerging powers like China and India.”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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