Top US diplomat William Burns to visit India June 10-13

June 1st, 2009 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, June 1 (IANS) US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns will visit India June 10-13 to “discuss a broad agenda to further strengthen partnership” between the two countries after the return of the Congress-led coalition government in India.

During this first high-level contact since the elections, Burns will visit New Delhi and Mumbai and “meet with senior government officials and private sector leaders to discuss a broad agenda to further strengthen partnership between the United States and India,” State Department spokesman Robert Wood announced Monday.

Burns is expected to meet Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and discuss a host of issues, including the situation in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region, the Mumbai terrorist attacks and non-proliferation.

Burns’ trip to Delhi will also set the stage for Hillary Clinton’s first visit to India, likely in July, after she became secretary of state early this year.

The Burns visit came up for discussion last week when Hillary Clinton rang up Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna to congratulate him on assuming office. The two also discussed possibilities of taking their strategic cooperation to a new level.

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