US working on ambitious roadmap for Modi-Obama meeting: Biswal

Aug 15 2014, 12:20 IST
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Nisha Desai Biswal said the India-US relationship is at a Nisha Desai Biswal said the India-US relationship is at a "pivotal moment of opportunity". (Reuters)
SummaryNisha Desai Biswal said the India-US relationship is at a "pivotal moment of opportunity".

The US is looking forward to a "very substantive and consequential" visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington later next month and is working on a "pretty ambitious roadmap" for his bilateral meeting with President Barack Obama, a top American official said.

"We have a pretty ambitious roadmap and workload over the next six weeks and we look forward to a very substantive and consequential visit for Prime Minister (Modi) and look forward to being able to really put a great deal of meat on the bones in terms of this very important relationship that the President has characterised as a defining partnership for the US in the 21st century," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal told reporters here.

Speaking at the Foreign Press Centre on 'US Foreign Policy Priorities in India', Biswal said the India-US relationship is at a "pivotal moment of opportunity".

"This is a relationship that carries a great deal of importance and meaning to the US and is at a critical moment of opportunity and we want to make sure we work very closely with our counterparts in India in realising that opportunity," she said.

India and the US discussed a broad range of issues in the Strategic Dialogue that was chaired by US Secretary of State John Kerry and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on August 1.

The dialogue focussed on strengthening cooperation in economic opportunity, energy security, homeland security, education, space and vocational training.

"These are all areas where we are looking to see some concrete announcements. I don't have that to give to you right now but that is what the homework assignment has been for the two sides to be working on over the next six weeks," Biswal said.

She said that Kerry and Modi were "very focussed" on taking all of the "positive energy" of the Strategic Dialogue and their first meeting and "making it, translating it into concrete actions".

The two "essentially tasked both teams to work together over the next six weeks to see how we can create some specific initiatives, specific actions that can be launched during the visit of Modi in September.

"This is a very broad relationship between our two countries and societies. It is not about one or two things, it is about how we are partnering across this large scope of our two democracies to advance shared goals and

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