India PM meets Obama on state visit

Relations with Asian neighbours, nuclear co-operation and the climate set to dominate talks.

    Indian PM Manmohan Singh is likely to urge Obama to keep troops in Afghanistan [AFP]

    "The India-US partnership can contribute to an orderly transition to the new order and be an important factor for global peace and stability," he said in an address to the Council on Foreign Relations.

    "India and the United States can work together with other countries in [Asia] to create an open and inclusive regional architecture."

    Agenda issues

    Hours before his visit to the White House, Singh stated his support for a continued US military presence in Afghanistan.

    "Any premature talks of exit will only embolden the terrorist elements who are out to destabilise not only our part of the world but civilised world everywhere," he said.

    He also called for increased international pressure on Pakistan to force its government to "use all its influence to curb the power of the terrorist groups" within the country.

    Obama is also likely to hear appeals for US investment in India during the talks.

    Notably, Singh is expected to raise the issue of a controversial agreement that would allow India to buy materials for its civil nuclear industry from international suppliers, despite New Delhi's refusal to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    The deal was signed under the previous US administration and Obama has pledged to ratify the accord - even though some of his colleagues in the Democratic Party object to it.

    Singh's visit is also expected to see the signing of a new memorandum on climate change ahead of a international summit on the issue in Copenhagen next month.

    The prime minister has said that India will make greater commitments to climate action if developed nations offer financial and technological support.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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