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'PM visit reflects Obama's high priority to Indo-US ties'

india Updated: Nov 14, 2009 13:54 IST

The state visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Washington later this month reflects Barack Obama's personal respect for him and the "high priority" the president attaches to the Indo-US relationship, a top administration official said on Saturday.

Elaborate arrangements are being made by the White House to accord a grand welcome to the prime minister.

The first state visit of the Obama Administration, US officials say is an indication of the importance attached to the US-India ties by the president.

Though the state dinner is scheduled for November 24, as was announced by the White House in early October, Singh is expected to arrive in Washington a few days early to kick off his meetings in the US -- with the influential business community and the think-tanks -- as part of the government's efforts to build on the people-to-people relationship.

"Under Secretary (of State for Political Affairs Bill) Burns visited India last month. The main purpose of his trip was to help prepare for Singh's state visit to Washington this month, which is the first state visit to the White House in the Obama Administration," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told PTI.

"As Undersecretary Burns said, this is not only a reflection of the President's personal respect for Prime Minister Singh, but also of the high priority that the administration attaches to our growing partnership with India," he said