US economic delegation arriving to lay ground work for Modi-Obama summit

A delegation headed by assistant secretary of commerce for global markets and director general of the US and foreign commercial service Arun M Kumar is arriving in India today to lay the groundwork for the proposed summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barrack Obama in the US in September.

The delegation is likely to hold discussions with senior officials in Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad.

"The delegation will discuss with senior officials of the government of India a broad array of topics aimed at growing the US-India commercial relationship," a US press release stated.

The US deputy secretary of state William Burns on Friday called on the prime minister and delivered a letter from President Obama reiterating his invitation to visit Washington in September and to work closely to make India-US relations a really ''defining partnership for the 21st Century.''

Modi has accepted the invitation and said he is looking forward to a result-oriented visit with concrete outcomes that imparts new momentum and energy to India-US strategic partnership.

Articulating his vision for India-US relations, the prime minister stated that the relationship between the world`s oldest and largest democracies should not only be for the benefit of the two countries, but should emerge as a powerful force of good for peace, stability and prosperity in the world.

Burns conveyed President Obama's desire to strengthen economic relations, including in next-generation technologies and manufacturing sector; cooperate in enhancing energy security; deepen security cooperation, including in maritime security, counter-terrorism and intelligence exchange; expand consultation and coordination on Afghanistan; and, work more broadly for security and prosperity in Asia.

The prime minister reiterated his desire to strengthen relations with all neighbours.

Modi recalled President Obama's telephone call soon after the election and expressed his appreciation for his detailed and thoughtful letter. He saw immense opportunities for deepening cooperation across the full spectrum of the relationship and laid special emphasis on involving youth in creating new avenues of promoting cooperation between the two countries.

India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, foreign secretary Sujatha Singh, the US charge d`affaires Kathleen Stephens and the assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs Nisha Biswal were also present at the meeting.