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Krishna in Washington for 'strategic dialogue'

world Updated: Jun 12, 2012 08:51 IST
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External affairs minister SM Krishna arrived in Washington to hold the third strategic dialogue with his counterpart Hillary Clinton, during which the two sides are expected to discuss a wide range of bilateral and regional issues.

Krishna, who would co-chair the meeting with Clinton on June 13, is leading a high-powered delegation.

During the meet the two leaders are expected to deliberate on issues related to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Asia-Pacific region and their joint collaboration in third world countries.

Hours before Krishna arrived here yesterday afternoon by a Acela train from New York, the secretary of state set the tone for the Strategic Dialogue by saying that India has "significantly" reduced its dependence on Iranian oil and this would get waiver from the Iranian sanctions act of the US Congress.

However, Krishna did not comment on the issue.

Krishna is accompanied by a number of top ministerial colleagues including the minister for science and technology Vilasrao Deshmukh, Union health and family welfare minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the Prime Minister's public information infrastructure and innovation advisor Sam Pitroda, minister of state (independent charge) for women and child development Krishna Tirath, minister of state for planning, S&T and earth sciences Ashwini Kumar.

Other members include foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai, home secretary RK Singh, the director of intelligence bureau Nehchal Sandhu, secretary for higher education Ashok Thakur and some senior officials.

Today, the external affairs minister is scheduled to address the annual gala of the US India Business Council (USIBC), the largest bilateral trade organisation based in Washington and the premier business advocacy organisation advancing the US-India commercial and trade ties.

"Krishna's participation will provide a boost into what has been a rewarding US-India commercial partnership these past 20 years, since India first opened its economy in 1991," USIBC President Ron Somers said in a statement.