Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Obama.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Obama.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Washington Thanksgiving week for a four-day state visit to discuss a range of issues crucial to the developing strategic partnership between the United States and India. The U.S.-India partnership is critical to President Barack Obama’s national security agenda on climate change, economic growth, and nuclear proliferation. There’s also the question of how to normalize the tense relations between India and its neighbor, Pakistan, as the one-year anniversary of the Mumbai terrorist attacks approaches. That the Obama administration chose India as the first country to receive the honor of a state visit is not surprising given the country’s importance to several Obama administration national security priorities. Prime Minister Singh’s visit comes during a sensitive period when there are growing questions about what the Obama administration has tangibly achieved with its new style of diplomatic outreach. President Obama’s trip to Asia mid-November raised some concerns in India that the United States was acceding to China’s growing power without demonstrating India’s important role. Gaining India’s cooperation on a range of issues will be an important test of the Obama administration’s ability to achieve results in his foreign policy.

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