A top U.S. State Department official is in India, meeting with leaders
to discuss defense, economic and academic ties -- as well as a
resumption of peace talks with Pakistan.
U.S. Undersecretary for Political Affairs William Burns' meetings are
the first talks between the Obama administration and the Indian
government since India's national elections last month.
Burns told reporters in New Delhi that India is a top foreign policy priority for the United States.
The State Department says U.S. officials are lobbying for India and
Pakistan to restart peace negotiations that were halted following the
terrorist attacks in Mumbai last November.
The slow-moving peace talks were mainly focused on resolving the long-standing territorial dispute over the Kashmir region.
India's prime minister Manmohan Singh said Tuesday that
his government is willing to resume talks if Pakistan genuinely cracks
down on militant groups inside its borders.
The Reuters news agency reports that a Pakistani foreign ministry
spokesman welcomed the invitation Wednesday. Abdul Basit said the
Pakistani government is open to steps leading to a resumption of the