By Arun Kumar
Washington, July 10 (IANS) President Barack Obama's National Security Advisor General James Jones will travel to India next week to begin laying the groundwork for Obama's history making visit in November.
During his July 14-16 visit to New Delhi, the general will meet with his counterpart Shivshankar Menon and other senior Indian officials, US National Security Council Spokesman Mike Hammer stated Friday.
He would discuss "a full range of subjects key to the strategic partnership we are developing with India, including counter-terrorism cooperation, regional security, defence cooperation, and export controls", Hammer said.
"General Jones will also have an opportunity to begin laying the groundwork for a successful visit by President Obama to India in November," Hammer said.
Calling US-India relations as "one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century", Obama has said during his India visit he plans to together make "history and progress that will be treasured by generations to come".
"Our relations with India are at the highest of priorities for my administration and for me personally as president of the United States," Obama declared at a reception for External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna after the inaugural US-India Strategic Dialogue last month.
"When it comes to building a future of greater prosperity, opportunity and security for people there is no doubt I have to go to India, but even more I am proud to go to India," he then said.
"And I look forward to the history that we will make together, the progress that will be treasured not only by this generation, but by future generations to come."
The US, Obama said, values India not merely for its crucial geographic position in South Asia but because of the deep social, political and strategic values the countries share. "India is indispensable to the future that we seek," he said.
In preparation for the Obama visit to India, apart from the strategic dialogue led by Krishna, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma among others have travelled to the US.
At the US-India CEO Forum meeting last month, Mukherjee and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged to together "try to reach for the stars" in fostering a stronger strategic partnership with enhanced bilateral trade and investment and economic, social and innovation linkages.