‘Hillary Clinton excited about India trip’
Washington (IANS): As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left on a much awaited trip to India, the US again stressed the importance it placed on the role India can play not just in the region, but as a global player.
Ms. Clinton’s series of meetings with current and former officials, lawmakers and think tanks in the run up to the visit is “an indication of the importance that Secretary Ms. Clinton and the administration, in general, places on our relationship with India, with the world’s largest democracy,” State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said Thursday.
“And I think we want to really look forward and look at this relationship as something that can be very constructive in the kind of role that India can play not just in the region, but as a global player,” he said.
“Ms. Clinton is genuinely excited about this trip and is really looking forward to spending a lot of time in India, three full days,” said Mr. Kelly who would be accompanying her on the trip.
The US also hoped to conclude some bilateral agreements during the trip, Mr. Kelly said. But “for the first two days, it’s going to be almost entirely people-to-people type activities, which she, of course, enjoys very much and puts a lot of importance on.”
Asked if the US is worried about China’s military build-up and if it was going to be on the table during Ms. Clinton’s meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said: “I just – I can’t predict what will come up.”
“I think most of the focus is going to be on our bilateral relationship,” Mr. Kelly said. There will be “some agreements in the security field. But I think it’s really going to be more talking about our partnership, about our bilateral relationship.”
In Mumbai, Ms. Clinton plans to commemorate the Nov 26 terrorist attack. “It was a horrific event and we know that it touched the lives of many families. And so she wants to pay tribute to the people who suffered in the event,” he said.
But Mr. Kelly declined to confirm whether she would be staying at the same hotel where the terrorists struck. “Well, I don’t think we talk about where we stay when we – before we get there, so I’m not going to confirm where we’re staying.”