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Mathai arrives in Washington; likely to meet Clinton

world Updated: Feb 06, 2012 14:52 IST

Foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai, who is in Washington to discuss a host of bilateral and regional issues including Iranian sanctions and Af-Pak situation, with top US officials, is also expected to meet secretary of state Hillary Clinton this week.

A meeting with Clinton, which was not initially on the cards, has been added at the last minute, and signifies the importance being attached to India-US relationship by the Obama Administration, top Indian diplomatic sources told PTI.

During his three-day stay here, Mathai is scheduled to hold a series of meetings with top officials of the Obama Administration including in particular those at the State Department and the White House.

Mathai, who arrived in Washington yesterday on his first bilateral visit to the US as foreign secretary, will meet Clinton at the Foggy Bottom headquarters, officials said.

According to the official, there is also a possibility of a meeting with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon when Mathai drives down to the White House this week for his scheduled meeting with Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs Michael Froman.

Mathai is scheduled to meet Burns; undersecretary of state for political affairs Wendy Sherman, and assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia Robert Blake.

Last week, state department spokesman Mark Toner said the US officials would be discussing with Mathai all of the issues that fall under their strong bilateral relationship, as well as many global issues.

Among the issues top on the list, officials said are the Iranian sanctions, Af-Pak situation, implementation of the civilian nuclear deal and the upcoming India-US Strategic Dialogue in Washington later this year.