Hillary Clinton to discuss regional issues with Manmohan Singh

Hillary Clinton to discuss regional issues with Manmohan SinghWashington, Nov 20 - Apart from participating in bilateral meetings and events at the White House during the visit of the Indian prime minister, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will have a separate one-on-one meeting with Manmohan Singh, focusing on regional issues in south Asia.

"I think that regional issues will be very important, particularly since the secretary has just come back from Afghanistan, so they'll want to talk about issues related to South Asia," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters Thursday.

"She'll want to talk about the State Department's role in the strategic dialogue with India, so we'll want to get into more detail on how we carry through with that," he said, "just besides a whole range of diplomatic issues".

Clinton, who will be among the guests at the White House dinner for Manmohan Singh next Tuesday, also plans to hold a lunch for the Indian delegation at the State Department probably on the same day, Kelly said.

She would be meeting the prime minister "within this event here, and there may be another one as well", Kelly said, noting that "of course, she will be in the meetings at the White House that the president will have, bilateral meetings and other events at the White House."

"But there will be a bilateral meeting between her and Mr Singh, and also she will host a lunch here as well for his delegation," he added.

In keeping with the emphasis on India-US economic engagement during the summit, seven Indian corporate giants will sign collaboration agreements with their US counterparts just a day after the prime minister lands here shortly after noon on Sunday.

The US-India CEO Forum constituted by the Manmohan Singh and the then US President George Bush in July 2005 for enhancing bilateral trade and investment is set for expansion and relaunch Monday.

Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Sons Ltd., will remain chairman of the Indian side, but his new US counterpart will be David Cote, chairman and CEO of Honeywell Inc, a conglomerate with diversified interests ranging from defence to communications and a large presence in India.

Instead of 10, the new CEO forum will have 12 members from each country. One fourth of the Indian members will be women CEOs. The US side too has included women CEOs and companies promoting clean energy and green economy. (IANS)