NEW DELHI -- Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's scheduled visit to Washington on Nov. 24 is imbued with a special significance for both the United States and India, one magnified by the fact that Singh is the first head of state to be accorded the honor of an official state visit since President Barack Obama moved into the White House.
The prestige accorded to India is befitting its growing geopolitical heft, its example as a peaceful and peace-loving nation and its status as the world's largest democracy. And there's no denying that the invitation has also helped mellow the resentment felt in New Delhi as it watched the U.S. vigorously engaged with China during Obama's recent Asia tour. Singh's visit will thus hopefully help reinforce the Obama administration's designation of India as a "strategic partner" for the U.S. in the 21st century.
Both Obama and Singh are expected to cover a broad range of global, regional and bilateral issues of common concern. They will also try to advance the strategic dialogue launched by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her India visit in July. Obama and his wife, Michelle, will also host Singh and his wife, Gursharan Kaur, for their first official state dinner.