Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that India attaches high priority to its relations with the United States. In his departure statement, Dr Singh said, "Our bilateral agenda covers almost all areas of human endeavour.
The United States is our largest trading partner in goods and services, and we have deep economic ties. There is a large Indian American community and robust people-to-people exchanges. Above all, we share common values and commitment to democracy, pluralism and human rights."
"The last several years have witnessed a transformation in India-US relations. Today, they are characterized by greater maturity, depth and convergence of interests. I look forward to building upon this momentum during my visit," he added.
Dr Singh further said a sustained and dynamic India-US partnership is essential if we are to meet the global challenges of the 21st century. "At the bilateral level, we look forward to building upon our Strategic Dialogue by adding greater substance to our cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, services, energy, science and technology, defence, high technology trade, education, agriculture and health," he added.
"I also look forward to exchanging views with President Barack Obama on the major global threats and challenges of our times, such as international terrorism, climate change, the global economic slowdown, the Doha round of trade negotiations, and nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation," he said.
Dr Singh during his visit will be meeting senior members of the US Cabinet, Senators and Congressmen. He will also attend a business event jointly hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce and the US-India Business Council where members of the India-US CEOs Forum will be present.
"I will also address the Council of Foreign Relations and Woodrow Wilson Centre, where I look forward to interacting with leading opinion makers of the United States. I will meet members of the Indian American community who are playing an important role in fostering closer ties between our two countries," he said.
After his visit to Washington, Dr Singh will travel to Port of Spain to attend the meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government. "This is the 60th anniversary year of the Commonwealth. We attach high importance to the role of the Commonwealth in promoting cooperation amongst its members and in engaging the world in shaping a cooperative, equitable and development-friendly world order," he said.