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US sends in envoy ahead of Hillary’s visit

delhi Updated: Jul 16, 2009 23:26 IST
Tushar Srivastava
Tushar Srivastava
Hindustan Times
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A day before US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in India, Roosevelt House — the official residence of the US ambassador in New Delhi — will have a new occupant.

Tim Roemer, the new US ambassador to India, is scheduled to arrive here late Thursday, just in time to oversee arrangements for Clinton’s five-day visit, which begins Friday.

Roemer and Peter Burleigh, the US charge d’ Affairs in India, will be with Clinton during her engagements in India, a senior official in the ministry of external affairs, who did not wish to be named, said.

The US would like its top diplomat in India to be present during the visit expected to take the India-US “strategic partnership” to a new level, said the official. “Roemer is, therefore, being specially flown in.”

The visit could see India allot two sites for nuclear parks to American companies to build nuclear reactors and also some other important agreements.

The US Senate had on July 10 unanimously confirmed Roemer’s nomination as the ambassador to India.

It accelerated his nomination process so that he could be in New Delhi ahead of Clinton’s visit.

“Roemer, who has had to rush to India because of paucity of time between his confirmation and the secretary of state’s visit, is expected to go back to the US once the visit is over and return at a later date,” the official said.

Clinton will arrive in Mumbai on Friday and stay at the Taj hotel, one of the places targeted during the 26/11 strikes. She will sign the 26/11 memorial guest book at the hotel and attend a commemoration event. She arrives in Delhi on Sunday.