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Indian leaders in U.S. for broad talks

June 3, 2010 at 1:18 PM

WASHINGTON, June 3 (UPI) -- Washington is welcoming a high-level delegation of Indian leaders to discuss counter-terrorism initiatives and broader bilateral ties, officials said.

Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna is in talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington as part of a strategic dialogue session.

Washington is keen to expand bilateral ties with India beyond defense issues, however. Clinton met Wednesday with Indian Education Minister Kapil Sibalto to discuss higher education in India.

"Education is a key component of our partnership with India, a key to meeting the demands of the 21st century economy," said U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.

William Burns, the U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, met with his Indian counterparts to discuss broader issues of U.S. foreign policy.

Burns in a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations this week said cooperation with India in counter-terrorism and defense was at an all-time high.

"Never has there been a moment when India and America mattered more to one another," he said.

Burns downplayed concerns that U.S. ties to Pakistan undermined any strategic partnership with India, saying the close ties to Islamabad didn't come at India's expense.

Topics: S.M. Krishna
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