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Obama to discuss Pak, Afghan, economy during India trip: White House

Ahead of US President Barack Obama's maiden India visit in November, the White House has said the current situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, besides issues like global economy and bilateral business ties are expected to be "an important aspect" of his trip.

world Updated: Oct 03, 2010 00:53 IST

Ahead of US President Barack Obama's maiden India visit in November, the White House has said the current situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, besides issues like global economy and bilateral business ties are expected to be "an important aspect" of his trip.

"I anticipate that the world economy and our bilateral business relationships with India will be an important aspect of that trip," White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, said at his daily press conference on Friday.

"From a security standpoint, obviously Afghanistan and Pakistan and how that is all interrelated in that area of Asia, particularly with India, will be a big focus of what the President discusses with the Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) then," Gibbs said in response to a question.

Obama is scheduled to visit India in early November. Exact dates of his trip have not been announced so far.

Earlier, Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, said the President is preparing for a landmark visit to India in November.

"I foresee our great nations becoming closer in the years and decades to come. President Obama intends to make a landmark visit to India in November to help further grow the ties between our two knowledge societies, our economies, and our people," Blake said.

Visiting National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, who concluded his visit here on Thursday, said the two countries are looking at establishing a long-term framework of Indo-US strategic partnership.

"The (President's) visit offers us an opportunity to put into place a longer term framework for the India-US strategic partnership, and to add content to that partnership in several areas that are now ripe," he said in his remarks at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think-tank.

Menon, during his visit here, held intense consultations with top US officials on issues related to the visit of Obama to India in November. Among others, he met Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and his American counterpart Gen (Retd) James Jones.

"Our goal must be to gear our bilateral cooperation towards making our two countries stronger, safer and more prosperous," Menon said.

"India and the USA stand at an important moment in our partnership. As a result of consistent efforts by successive governments and administrations in both countries, our bilateral strategic partnership is strong. The time has come to realise its international significance. President Obama's visit gives us an opportunity to do so," he said.