Mathai, Clinton hold meetings at State Dept and WH
On his first bilateral visit to the US as the Foreign Secretary, Mathai is understood to have presented India`s perspective on a wide range of regional and global issues including Iran, the peace talks with Taliban and situation in the region.
Secretary of State Clinton dropped by at a meeting between Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Mathai, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
Clinton`s meeting with Mathai, Nuland said, was to "make clear that we support these consultations on the full range of issues." She is looking forward to the US-India Strategic Dialogue later this year, Nuland said.
Later in the day, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Windy Sherman hosted a meetings for Mathai, who met other top officials from the State Department, including Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake and Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security Democracy and Human Rights Maria Otero. Mathai also had meetings at the White House.
In the evening, Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao hosted a dinner for the visiting Indian delegation which was attended by officials from the State Department.
A day earlier, Mathai met the Ambassador at large and Coordinator for Counter terrorism, Daniel Benjamin.
Mathai also met a group of Indian American community leaders led by Dr Sambhu N Banik. "His primary task would be to develop better relationships on a equality basis with all the countries including Pakistan," Banik said after the hour-long meeting with the Foreign Secretary.
Other Indian-American community leaders were Dr T V George, Sunny Wycliffe, Dr P C Nair and Dr Joy Cherian. Mathai warmly welcomed the leaders who were known to him when he worked as the First Secretary during the year 1981-1984. At that time late K R Narayanan, former President, was the Ambassador of India.
During the meeting Mathai recalled his days in Washington and how his interactions with Indian community and his active participation in many community organized activities has shaped his thinking.