Pakistan likely to figure high in Clinton's first India visit
The neighboring countries agreed Thursday to work together on terrorism despite stalled peace talks. US secretary of state arrives Friday.
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The trip comes after a much anticipated meeting between India and Pakistan's prime ministers Thursday.
On her first visit to the country as top US diplomat, Secretary Clinton will fly to Mumbai, where she will meet victims of last November's terrorist attacks. She will then travel to the capital, New Delhi, for talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the new foreign minister, SM Krishna.
Speaking in Washington last week, Clinton said she hoped India and the US would "be cooperating and working together across the broadest range of concerns that our two governments have ever engaged on."
India and the US have been brought closer together by a landmark nuclear cooperation deal agreed by the two countries in 2005 and finalized last year. Indeed, many believe that the deal is the most significant feature of India's foreign policy over the past decade.
"There will be a strong symbolic component to this visit, with Clinton reassuring India that [President] Obama wants to pursue the kind of special relationship with India that [former US president] George Bush did," says Commodore Uday Bhaskar, a New Delhi-based strategic analyst. "It's very important to reiterate these things or people get antsy."
Seeking more cooperation
In detail, the talks are expected to cover a number of areas in which the US is seeking India's cooperation.
Speaking at the US India Business Council recently, Clinton alluded to "four platforms of cooperation – global security, human development, economic activity, science and technology."
Trade between the US and India doubled between 2004 and 2008 to $43.4 billion, according to the US Census Bureau.