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US says preparations underway to ensure 'good' schedule for PM

world Updated: Nov 13, 2009 15:37 IST

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Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit here, the US has said preparations are underway to ensure "a good, substantive schedule" for the Indian leader, the first state guest of the Obama Administration.

"We all look forward to the visit of the Prime Minister later this month. I know that preparations are well underway to ensure a good, substantive schedule for him," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.

President Barack Obama has invited Singh for his first State Dinner at the White House on November 24.

Officials at both the State Department and White House have been holding a series of meetings in the past few days to give final touches to the visit of Singh later this month.

Both Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have said that Administration wants to deepen and strengthen the US-India relationship.

Indian Ambassador to the US, Meera Shankar, also said recently in Houston that "we are at an exciting moment of hope and opportunity, as Prime Minister Singh and President Obama prepare to build on the progress we have made to take the relationship to a new level."

The White House had earlier said the two leaders are expected to discuss a range of global, regional and bilateral issues of shared interest and common concern.