Friday, 15 July , 2005, 07:35
Washington: US President George W. Bush
will use a state visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
early next week to emphasise India's growing global influence, a senior US official said on Thursday.
"India is emerging as a global player, and we think on balance that's a good thing," the official told a small group of reporters on condition he not be named. "We have a lot to cooperate on."
"What you're going to see, I think, is moving beyond just a bilateral relationship between the United States and India dealing with bilateral problems and more the United States and India in partnership dealing together with global issues," the official said, without providing details.
Singh, whom Bush will welcome to the White House on Monday, last visited the United States in September 2004, when he attended the United Nations General Assembly and had his first meeting with the president.
Relations between India and the United States, on opposite sides in the Cold War, have been warming in recent years.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
made India her first stop in March after being chosen for the post. Foreign Minister Natwar Singh
has followed this up with a visit to the US.
The two sides have pledged to boost strategic ties and launch talks on energy cooperation, including the use of civilian nuclear power.
US and Indian defense ministers signed a 10-year agreement in late June paving the way for joint weapons production, cooperation on missile defense and possible lifting of US export controls for sensitive military technologies.