Clinton in India for Economic, Security Talks

Posted July 19th, 2011 at 2:10 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has begun two days of talks with Indian officials aimed at strengthening political and economic relations with the South Asian country.

Clinton met Tuesday with Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon in the capital, New Delhi.

She is scheduled to meet with a range of other senior officials Tuesday, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Party chief Sonia Gandhi, as well as opposition leaders.

Clinton's visit is part of an ongoing U.S.-India strategic dialogue that began last year with talks in Washington.

The talks will also cover the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and India's strained relations with arch-rival Pakistan.

On Wednesday, Clinton will travel to India's southeastern city of Chennai, where she is scheduled to deliver a speech on the importance of U.S.-Indian relations, and meet representatives of U.S. companies.

Her trip comes less than a week after a series of blasts in India's financial hub Mumbai killed 19 people.

No one has claimed responsibility for the triple bombings that wounded more than 130 others.

The U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation agreement finalized in 2008 will be a topic for discussion at the strategic dialogue session. Indian leaders are also expected to bring up American visa laws that affect Indian professionals in the United States.