Hillary Clinton eyes defence pacts, India to raise visa, terrorism

Home News Hillary Clinton eyes defence pacts, India to raise visa, terrorism

With US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meeting S.M. Krishna for strategic talks on Tuesday, the external affairs minister...

With US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meeting S.M. Krishna for strategic talks on Tuesday, the external affairs minister will provide her with a sample of the Clinton platter, an assortment of tandoori delicacies that will help the two iron out differences as they put the Indo-US relationship that is losing steam back on track.

But besides India's 'Kebab diplomacy', there will be enough on their plate to keep the two leaders busy during the day as they discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relationship.

US wishlist
Headlines Today has accessed the agenda for the Krishna-Clinton meet. Clinton has come to Delhi armed with a big wishlist. The US wants a bigger chunk of India's defence pie, having lost out on the deal for medium multi-role combat aircraft deal.

Amongst the new deals it is pitching for is a deal for 250 new engines for Indian Air Force's Jaguar aircraft. Also on the US wishlist is a deal for 22 Apache helicopters pegged at 1.5 billion dollars. This is in addition to the deal worth 8 billion dollars that India has signed with the US.

The US also wants to build some civilian airports in India and wants closer cooperation with its Transport Safety Administration and Indian home and civil aviation ministries.

Political front
The US wants India to support regime changes in the Middle-East. Libya will be high on the agenda and the US wants India to recognise the anti-Gadaffi faction in Libya, which has been recognized by 25 countries. It will also reassure India that its troop pullout in Afghanistan will not impact the security situation and that it would want India to continue its capacity building efforts in Afghanistan.

Visa and terror
Krishna will raise the visa issue, problems faced by Indians in securing business visas, besides the issue of Tri Valley students. New Delhi will argue that these issues impact bilateral relations.

Counter-terrorism cooperation will also be on the agenda and the US is keen to expand cyber security cooperation with India while India wants the US to share information on terror groups operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Trade ties
Economic diplomacy will also be high on the agenda. Both sides are keen to expand trade relations. The current volume of trade is 50 billion. They will also try to iron their differences over the bilateral investment treaty which is lying in the cold storage and they may give a green signal to kick start the renegotiations on the issue.

The US also wants India to open investments in insurance, retail and defence but India is unlikely to give any firm commitment.

Developments in Pakistan and Afghanistan and relationship with China will also feature prominently when the US Secretary of State has an hour-long restricted meeting with Krishna preceded by a closed door breakfast meeting with the National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon.

The two sides have a shared interest in Afghanistan. They have been holding regular consultations on the situation in Afghanistan. With the US initiating preliminary contacts with the Taliban, the Indian side would be keen on knowing more about the substance of the US engagement with the Taliban.

In her day-long visit to Delhi, Clinton will call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. She will leave for Chennai on Wednesday.

Source: [ ]

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, S.M. Krishna External Affairs Minister, Indo-US Relationship, Combat Aircraft Deal, Indian Air Force, Jaguar Aircraft, 22 Apache Helicopters, Visa Issue, Business Visas, Issue of Tri Valley Students, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee

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