Influential American Senator Chris Dodd, considered to be very close to President Barack Obama, has identified India as an important friend and economic partner of the United States.
"India is an important friend and economic ally to the United States, and I look forward to working to bring India and the United States closer as two nations that share common values and aspirations," Dodd said in a statement here.
Dodd is the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a member of its subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, and the Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus.
Senator Dodd, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Friday, said that his meeting with the Indian leader was productive and positive.
"The meeting with Prime Minister Singh was productive and positive, and I am grateful to him for welcoming me to his wonderful country," said Dodd, who is currently on a visit to India.
Earlier, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, in response to a question at his daily press briefing, said India "is an important partner".
Obama is scheduled to visit India in November. This would be his first trip to India.