WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Thursday called deepening ties with India one of his administration's most important goals. Announcing that he will visit the rising Asian power in early November, Obama said the US-Indian relationship will help shape the coming century.
Obama's comments came during the inaugural US-India Strategic Dialogue, a high-level meeting that is meant to ease Indians' fears that their country is slipping behind rivals China and Pakistan in US interest.
"Our relations with India are at the highest of priorities for my administration and for me personally as president of the United States," Obama said at a reception at the State Department hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for her Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna and an array of US and Indian officials. Obama called India "a responsible global power" and said the US-India relationship "will be a defining partnership of the 21st century."