US secretary of state Hillary Clinton will arrive in India on an unscheduled visit next month on her way back from Bangladesh.
But what is surprising the political circles most is that she will visit West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and governor MK Narayanan — besides civil society members — in Kolkata on May 7 before coming to Delhi the next day.
Clinton’s sudden decision to visit India came as a surprise as a stopover in New Delhi was not on her initial Asia itinerary that was primarily meant to attend the fourth round of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing on May 3-4.
Foreign ministry officials are trying to squeeze out time for her meetings with foreign minister SM Krishna and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on May 8 as both will be busy that day with Singapore foreign minister K Shanmugam’s official visit.
“The secretary of state will be meeting external affairs minister SM Krishna,” official sources said, adding that efforts are on to finalise a meeting with the PM.
Key regional and global issues including Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and Myanmar are expected to come up in Clinton’s meeting with Krishna, who will travel to the United States for the fifth strategic dialogue on June 13.