Top Obama aide to visit India June 25

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser James Jones will visit New Delhi as part of ongoing US “effort to further deepen and strengthen our key bilateral partnership with India.”

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Jones will visit New Delhi at the invitation of his counterpart, National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan, after visiting Afghanistan and Pakistan to monitor implementation of the new US war plan, National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer announced Monday.

“At the request of the president, national security advisor Jim Jones is travelling to Afghanistan and Pakistan to follow-up on the implementation of our new, comprehensive strategy,” Hammer said in a Council release.

In addition, Jones will visit New Delhi as “part of our ongoing effort to further deepen and strengthen our key bilateral partnership with India,” the release said.

Jones will meet local officials, US diplomats, military personnel and representatives of foreign nations battling alongside US troops in the Afghan war coalition, it added.

Exact dates of the visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan were not released for security reasons. However, reports from New Delhi suggest, he will be in India on June 25.

The Jones visit is also expected to set the stage for the highly-anticipated visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton next Month to set the agenda for their bilateral ties under the Obama administration. Last week Clinton had vowed to usher in a new era of relations with a India with a “dramatic expansion” in ties to build what she called the “US-India 3.0” relationship representing the next stage in their evolving relationship.