Hillary Clinton will not join Obama on India trip

October 27th, 2010 - 11:30 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama By Arun Kumar
Washington, Oct 27 (IANS) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has played a key role in strengthening India-US relations, will not accompany President Barack Obama on his trip to India next month.

“The Secretary has been to India and has engaged Indian officials to help prepare for the president’s trip,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters here Tuesday.

“Given the competing major fora that are underway here, the secretary has her agenda; she will not join the president in India, but others will be in his delegation,” he said explaining Clinton’s absence from the Obama delegation.

“But this is characteristic of our engagement where, in the Asia-Pacific region, in the coming days, you’ll have the president there, the secretary there, the deputy secretary there, and that just gives you a sense of the breadth of the issues that we are wrestling with in the region,” Crowley said.

Clinton would be in Australia along with Defence Secretary Robert Gates for the 25th anniversary of the annual Australia-US Ministerial Consultations during Obama’s India Nov 6-9 India trip.

But Clinton will meet Indian officials in Hanoi ahead of East Asia summit “to work together on coordination”, another senior US official told the foreign media stressing US support for India’s growing role in the Asia Pacific region.

“We have stated very clearly that the United States welcomes and supports India’s growing role as an Asian-Pacific player,” Assistant Secretary of State for South East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt M. Campbell said.

“Obviously, we’re also trying to regularise and intensify our overall diplomacy with India going forward,” he said in response to a question.

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

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