Associated Press

Crawford, June 4:

Terrorism, defence and trade issues will dominate talks on July 18 at the White House between US President George W Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “The visit marks the next stage in the expanding and deepening US-India relationship, building on the recent high-level exchanges and initiatives between the two governments,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said yesterday in Crawford, Texas. The Bush administration has offered New Delhi an upgraded version of the F-16 fighter jets and is looking into setting up nuclear power plants to meet India’s growing energy needs. India has not decided whether to accept the F-16 offer. “India and the United States are jointly engaged in the process of widening and deepening their multifaceted cooperative relationship,” Indian foreign ministry spokes-man Navtej Sarna said yesterday in a statement. “The forthcoming visit of the prime minister to the USA will take this process further based on a shared vision of the leaders of the two democracies.” However, closer ties with the United States could face opposition from communist parties that are providing key support to Singh’s coalition government.