Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit the White House next month for talks with President Barack Obama to “highlight India’s role in regional security and stability,” an official statement said.
The meeting between the two leaders has assumed greater importance in view of impending US drawdown from Afghanistan, where Pakistan-India rivalry for influence has raised concerns in Washington.
The Obama administration has been praising New Delhi for supporting Kabul’s economic development plan but it is also concerned that the recent tensions between the two nuclear powers, Pakistan and India, on the Line of Control in the disputed Kashmir region could negatively affect its plans to conclude the Afghan War by 2014 and leave behind a relatively stable Afghanistan.
Washington needs Islamabad’s support to end its long war in Afghanistan on Pakistan’s western border. Recently, the United States is pressuring India to hold talks with Pakistan to resolve tensions between the south Asian countries.
According to a statement by National Security Council Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden, the US and Indian national security advisers have discussed India’s support for a stable, secure and prosperous Afghanistan and “exchanged ideas on enhancing security cooperation, reviewed progress on the civil nuclear and clean energy cooperation and explored greater collaboration on climate change”.
Singh previously visited Washington in 2009 and President Obama has visited India in 2010. The meeting will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to chart a course toward enhanced trade, investment and development cooperation between the US and India.