Hillary meets PM, discusses nuke coop, terror

New Delhi: Key strategic issues, including civil-nuclear cooperation, terrorism, situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iran and security were discussed between the Prime Minister and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who also briefed Manmohan Singh on her recent China visit. Clinton, who is here on the last leg of her three-nation Asia tour, called on Singh at his Race Course Road residence during which the two sides discussed ways to enhance economic ties and Prime Minister outlined the opportunities in infrastructure area, official sources said.

The US Secretary of State also conveyed her country`s expectations on the opening of FDI in retail sector as well as a new set of economic reforms by Indian government. Both sides also talked about Iran and all aspects of Tehran`s engagement with the international community including India. The US has been urging India and other countries to slash oil imports from Iran to step up pressure on Tehran to comply with international demands over its nuclear programme, with Clinton earlier in the day asking New Delhi to do even more on this front.

Singh and Clinton also talked about the situation in Afghanistan and the ways to sustain development and stability in the war-torn country after the withdrawal of Western troops by 2014. Clinton, who had started her three-nation Asia trip with a visit to China to attend US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, briefed Singh about her "perceptions" of that country, sources said.

Asked if the issue of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed was also discussed, sources said all aspects of terrorism were discussed but refused to divulge specifics of the deliberations. The two sides also talked about their respective ties with Pakistan. While India`s ties with Pakistan are on an upward trajectory, US-Pak relations have been under strain for nearly an year and half.