US envoy to hold talks with India
Making a sudden change in his itinerary, the United States' special representative for Af-Pak (Afghanistan and Pakistan) Marc Grossman will arrive in New Delhi on Friday. HT reports.delhi Updated: Jan 20, 2012 00:14 IST
Making a sudden change in his itinerary, the United States' special representative for Af-Pak (Afghanistan and Pakistan) Marc Grossman will arrive in New Delhi on Friday.
He will hold discussions with foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai and other officials. The peace process in Afghanistan and the evolving situation in Pakistan are expected to dominate the agenda of the visit. Grossman is likely to meet national security advisor Shivshankar Menon.
Delhi was not on the initial itinerary of Grossman who left Washington this weekend on a two-week trip to the region to visit Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Afghanistan among others.
A new multinational initiative, the new silk route, to build a multi-billion dollar network of roads, railways and gas pipelines linking the resource-rich Central Asia with the continent's fast-growing economies will also figure in discussions.
External affairs minister SM Krishna had said the project would develop the "building blocks of our vision for Afghanistan as a hub linking Central and South Asia through pipelines, trade and transit routes for the common good of people of our region and the world."
"He's (Grossman) going to New Delhi, which is a new stop. He'll be there on Friday," state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters.
She said the US believes that India has a role to play in Afghanistan. Grossman also wanted to travel to Pakistan, but the request was turned down by Islamabad on the pretext that Pakistan parliament is reviewing its US relations.