PM leaves tomorrow for the US to meet Obama, address UNGA

Manmohan Singh_0_1_0_0_0_0_0_0_0adfdaf.jpg

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will leave on Wednesday on a visit to the US during which he will hold talks with President Barack Obama and attend UN General Assembly, besides having a possible meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif. 
Implementation of the civil nuclear deal, ways to expand cooperation in the fields of defence, security and economic issues will be high on the agenda of the meeting between Singh and Obama in Washington on September 27.
Some pacts, including a contract between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and US firm Westinghouse, are expected to be signed. At the Summit meeting with Obama, their third since 2009, Singh is expected to flag concerns over the proposed changes in US visa norms which would affect the highly-skilled IT professionals from India.
Situation in this region, including Afghanistan after withdrawal of US-led forces next year, besides global issues like Syria are also expected to figure in the talks. The two leaders are likely to discuss ways to give a push to the cooperation in civil nuclear and defence fields, which are the "pillars" of the relationship.
In the defence field, they are expected to also look at ways to convert the buyer-seller relationship into joint design, development and production.
The US recently said it wants to replicate Russia and jointly build defence systems like Brahmos with India. In the area of security, the two sides will discuss ways for cooperation in securing airports and ports.
During the week-long visit, Singh will travel from Washington to New York to address the UNGA. On its sidelines, there is a possibility of a meeting between Singh and Sharif. Singh is also expected to meet Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and some other foreign leaders.
Briefing mediapersons on the visit, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh had said last week the third Summit between the two leaders in the last four years reflects that the relationship has reached the "stage of maturity".
The Prime Minister had visited the US in November 2009 and Obama had visited India for a Summit meeting in 2010. They have also met a number of times on the sidelines of multilateral meetings.
In the context of expanding economic and commercial ties, the Foreign Secretary said, "Some aspects of the proposed reforms" in the US visa procedures would "impact" on India's highly-skilled professionals.
On Afghanistan, the Indian side would be looking for clarity on the security and political aspects of the situation in that country in the run up to the draw-down of US-led forces next year.
India, which is involved in a major assistance programme in that country, has maintained that any dialogue should be an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled process.
At the 68th Session of the UNGA, Singh is expected to pitch for permanent membership for India in the Security Council as part of its reform and expansion to reflect the current global realities. With the theme - "Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage! - the UNGA will focus on combating terrorism, disarmament, UN reforms and development.
Singh will also push for poverty eradication without qualifiers like poverty eradication and climate change or poverty eradication and sustainable development. India is of the view that development agenda should not become governance agenda and should not only cover developing countries but also the consumption index of developed countries which impacts the growth of developing nations.
Singh is expected to push for early adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) with an aim of dealing with the menace.

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