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Forthcoming visit of External Affairs and Defence Minister Jaswant Singh to the United States

March 20, 2001
New Delhi

At the invitation of the US Secretary of State Mr. Colin Powell the External Affairs and Defence Minister, Shri Jaswant Singh, will be visiting Washington from April 5-7, 2001. In addition to the meeting with Secretary of State Mr. Colin Powell on March 6, 2001, Mr. Jaswant Singh is expected to have discussions with other high officials in the US Administration.

This will be the first visit by the External Affairs Minister to the US after the new Administration has taken over. This visit will help to consolidate and add further momentum to the relationship between India and the US. It will implement the objectives of the vision statement and dialogue architecture that was unveiled in March 2000.

In response to questions the Spokesperson said the following:

India has had active engagements with the senior members of the new US Administration even before it was elected to office. Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and National Security Adviser Shri Brajesh Mishra met Mr. Donald Rumsfeld in February 2001 in Munich. There have been statement on record by the people who are now in senior positions in the US Administration on the importance attached by the US to the relationship with India. There is a continuity in the relationship and desire from both sides to strengthen it.

The Jaswant Singh-Strobe Talbott engagement was a security related dialogue specifically in the circumstances after May 1998. The forthcoming engagement would have a much wider canvas that would encompass a wide range of bilateral and international issues.

The visit also could be seen in the context of formal engagements with the US Administration at a very senior level.