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Biswal to visit India ahead of Indo-US strategic dialogue

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Washington: Ahead of the first ever Indo-US strategic and commercial dialogue, a top American diplomat will visit New Delhi this week to hold talks with Indian leaders on giving a final shape to the agenda and fixing the dates of the meeting.

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal will travel to New Delhi for meetings with government leaders on August 26 and 27, the State Department said in a statement.

Biswal’s visit to India comes ahead of the first ever India US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue next month and a possible meeting between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the latter travels to the US to attend the annual session of the UN General Assembly late September.

Dates of both the dialogue and the Obama-Modi meeting have not been announced yet.

Before travelling to New Delhi, Biswal would make a visit to Sri Lanka — the first by a top American diplomat after the recent parliamentary elections.

In Sri Lanka, she would be accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski.

“They plan to meet with senior government officials, political party and civil society leaders, and the private sector in the spirit of partnership that Secretary (of State, John) Kerry highlighted during his May visit,” the State Department said.

“Their trip will focus on US-Sri Lanka cooperation to further economic growth, strengthen good governance and democratic institutions, and promote reconciliation and justice,” it said.

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