Clinton calls in Mukherjee, conveys greater cooperation
In reply to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s congratulatory message to newly elected Barack Obama-led administration, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls in External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Friday expressing desire to take bilateral cooperation to a new level.
Mr. Mukherjee in his short telephonic conversation congratulated Secretary Clinton on her assumption of the office of US Secretary of State, and also invited her to visit India at a mutually convenient date.
Both leaders agreed for a greater cooperation to strengthen mutual cooperation on all fronts. Clinton’s remark came at a time when a policy document on US foreign policy released by the White House Tuesday made no mention of India, though talks about Asia at large.
‘The call, which was to take place Thursday, could not materialize as the External Affairs Minister was away to Kabul and took place at 8.00 p.m. on January 23, 2009 (9.30 a.m. Washington time),’ the external affairs ministry said in a statement.
Mukherjee during his visit to Afghanistan has underlined United States key role in fight against terror, and to maintain peace in the region. Talking in context of the November 26-29, 2008 Mumbai terror strike and the July 7, 2008 bomb blast at the Indian embassy in Kabul, he reiterated that perpetrators of terror attacks must be penalized.
The Minister also stated that the relationship between India and USA has reached new heights in the last couple of years and it should be maintained at that level.
Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had sent a congratulatory letter to President Obama hoping an extended cooperation between both the countries during his presidency.
Dr. Singh also invited Obama to visit India and said that he looked forward to working with the US president to 'address regional and global issues of common concern'.
Meanwhile, Washington has appointed former U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke as a special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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