News / Asia

Obama to Seek 'Deeper, Broader' Relations with India During Visit

An Indian pedestrian walks past a billboard welcoming US President Barack Obama outside The American Centre in New Delhi, 04 Nov. 2010.
An Indian pedestrian walks past a billboard welcoming US President Barack Obama outside The American Centre in New Delhi, 04 Nov. 2010.

Excitement is mounting in India over the upcoming visit of U.S. President Barack Obama as was evident this week during a press conference given by Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.

He told journalists that a "warm welcome" awaits President Obama, who arrives in India on Saturday, along with productive talks on a wide range of mutual concerns.

"President Obama's visit will be an opportunity to once again underscore that our shared values of democracy, openness, pluralism and fundamental freedom form the bedrock of our strategic partnership," said Rao. American officials have said the trip is designed to deepen the bilateral relationship.  Indications are that both sides will tread softly on delicate issues.

Mr. Obama's first stop will be Mumbai, India's bustling financial center. There, the president and U.S. executives plan to attend a summit with Indian business leaders.

U.S. officials predict bilateral trade with India will exceed $50 billion this year and they say they hope U.S. exports to India will double within five years.

President Obama will stay at the Taj Palace Hotel, one of several facilities attacked by terrorists across the city two years ago, killing more than 165 people. Mr. Obama is expected to meet with victims' families and deliver a speech reaffirming America's commitment to fighting terrorism.

On Sunday, the president is scheduled to travel to the capital, New Delhi, to attend a small private dinner at the home of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The two men are to hold a summit on Monday, leading to what American officials say will be a "deeper, broader" U.S.-India partnership across the board.

Despite drawing closer to Washington, India remains concerned about some U.S. policies, particularly its billions of dollars in military assistance to Pakistan, says Lalit Mansingh, a former foreign secretary in the Indian government.  

"I think there should be some accountability on how Pakistan uses that assistance," Mansingh says.  "If it is used for fighting terrorism, we have no complaint.  If it is for using arms to fight India, we have a real problem."

Last month, the Obama administration pledged to increase its military aid to Pakistan to help the country fight extremism. But U.S. officials said aid will be denied to any Pakistani army units linked to human rights abuses.

The two leaders will also discuss the future of stabilization efforts in Afghanistan, says Lalit Mansingh, in which the Afghan government with U.S. and NATO help, has been pursuing reconciliation talks with the Taliban.

"We don't think negotiating with the Taliban is such a good idea. Because they're the ones who are your [the United States'] real enemies," Mansingh says. "If you compromise with your enemies, I don't see what kind of Afghanistan you leave behind when American troops go out."

Some delicate subjects will likely remain off the table, say analysts, such as violence between security forces and separatists in Indian-administered Kashmir. Washington has said that troubled region is an issue to be addressed bilaterally between India and Pakistan.

On Monday, the eve of Mr. Obama's departure for Indonesia, he is scheduled to be treated to a formal state dinner in the Indian capital, reciprocating an event the U.S. president held for Prime Minister Singh at the White House last November.   

You May Like

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Activists for Peace Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified boarder, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs