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PM to meet Obama, likely to discuss LoC killings, trade and nuclear issues

Sep 27, 2013 07:59 AM IST India India
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Washington: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be meeting US President Barack Obama in Washington on Friday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly summit that will be held in New York on Saturday.

The Prime Minister who is scheduled to take part in a meeting over lunch with the US President is likely to discuss the recent border tensions between India and Pakistan. In recent months several ceasefire violations by the Pakistani Army along with killings of Indian soldiers have taken place on the LoC. The twin terror attacks that rocked Jammu on Thursday killing 12 people including 3 Army officers and 5 police officers is also likely to be discussed.

The meeting is also expected to help review the bilateral co-operation between the two countries. Apart from that nuclear and trade matters are also expected to be on the agenda.

"We will review the international situation particularly in regard to economic situations ans situations in the region. We would look for ways and means in which India and US can be kept better informed about the concerns," Singh said.

Also set in the agenda for the meeting is America's standpoint on Syria and the support or defence supplies in matter. There have been high level visits between the two nations with US Vice President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State John Kerry having visited India earlier in 2013.

The Prime Minister on his 2-day 'working trip' is accompanied by his wife Gursharan Kaur. National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh are also accompanying him. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is scheduled to join Singh from New York later on Friday.

The White House expressed hope over the meeting with the Indian Prime Minister and said that Obama is 'looking forward' to the meeting with Singh at the Oval Office on Friday.

Following the meeting, the two leaders will issue a joint statement in a brief media interaction. Thereafter, Obama would host Singh for a lunch. First Lady Michelle Obama will be hosting Kaur for a private tea at the White House.

Ahead of the visit, the White House praised the role of Singh in transforming the India-US relationship. "From the US perspective, we have made a strategic bet on relationship with India and the strategic bet that would carry us forward in the next century," a senior administration official said.

The purpose of the '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" into the next century, the senior official said.

Singh is scheduled to leave Washington for New York immediately after his meeting with Obama. In New York, Singh would address the UN General Assembly session on Saturday and is expected to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on September 29. He is scheduled to return home on Monday.

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