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NEWS|Current Affairs 
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived Washington on Thursday on a two-day "working visit" to meet US President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday, during which the two leaders are expected to discuss a wide range of issues with focus on defence, economic and regional issues. The Prime Minister accompanied by his wife Gursharan Kaur was welcomed at the Andrews Air Force Base by acting deputy chief of protocol Rosemarie Pauli. Singh is accompanied by National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid would join Singh from New York later in the day. The White House said Obama is "looking forward" to the meeting with Singh at the Oval Office tomorrow. Following the meeting, the two leaders would issue a joint statement in a brief media interaction. Thereafter, Obama would host Singh for a lunch. First Lady Michelle Obama would be hosting Kaur for a private tea at the White House. Ahead of the visit, the White House praised the role of Singh in transforming the India-US relationship. "From the US perspective, we have made a strategic bet on relationship with India and the strategic bet that would carry us forward in the next century," a senior administration official said. The purpose of "short working visit" is both to reflect and appreciate the decade of this transformation and the commitments of the leaders in the government to the strategic partnership, the official said. The purpose is also to "set out a road map for the path ahead" into the next century, the senior official said. Singh is scheduled to leave Washington for New York immediately after his meeting with Obama. In New York, Singh would address the UN General Assembly session on Saturday and is expected to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on September 29. He is scheduled to return home on Monday.

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