Following a colossal dip in U.S. public support, President Barack Obama will touch down in India on Saturday for a four-day trip that promises to be simultaneously challenging and significant.
Following his arrival in Mumbai Nov. 6, he is expected to meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and address a joint session of the Indian Parliament, reports Reuters. Among the varied topics Obama will reportedly discuss: lifting a 1998 ban on U.S. exports of dual-use technology, which can be used for both civilian and military purposes, to India. "Our teams continue to work hard to reach an agreement that strengthens the international non-proliferation system while treating India in a manner that is consistent with our strategic partnership," he is quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying.
While describing India as a "cornerstone" of American engagement in Asia, Obama acknowledged difficulty in supporting India's long-standing bid for a permanent place on the U.N. Security Council. "I do...expect to discuss India's role on the global stage during my visit," he told Reuters.
As two of the world's largest global democracies, the U.S. and India share a natural affinity and many of the same core values, according to Indian Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prithviraj Chavan. In addition, Obama faces a somewhat unique challenge in visiting India, a country known for its unusually warm stance toward former U.S. President George W. Bush, says the New York Daily News.