Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday kicked-off his State Visit to the US by meeting Defence Secretary Robert Gates and the two are understood to have discussed issues of bilateral interest and situation in the region.
Gates called on Singh, who arrived in Washington on Sunday on a four-day visit, at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, and the two leaders were closetted for over 30 minutes.
In his initial remarks, Singh told Gates that India and US share a deep strategic relationship. They also discussed about the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Singh and Gates are understood to have discussed the Counter-Terrorism methods and also about stepping up cooperation against the menace.
The meeting between Singh and Gates assume significance as it comes just hours before the Situation Room meeting by President Barack Obama to discuss the administration's stragety on Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The US considers India as an effective partner in Afghanistan where New Delhi has been engaging in reconstruction activities.
Singh, who will meet Obama tomorrow and hold talks with him, will also address the Senate Foreign Relations Committee late tonight and meet several influential lawmakers.