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'US strongly values strategic partnership with India'

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US strongly values strategic partnership with India
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Washington: Valuing its "strategic partnership" with India, Washington has expressed the hope that new External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid would be a valued partner in carrying forward their strategic dialogue.

"We highly value our strong strategic partnership with India," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters Wednesday when asked about Sunday's reshuffle when Khurshid replaced S. M. Krishna.

"Certainly we've had an especially productive relationship with Minister Khurshid in his prior service at the Ministry of External Affairs as well as other positions in the Government of India," he said.

"And we believe he'll be a valued partner in carrying forward the strategic dialogue that Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton has co-chaired and in building what President Obama has called a defining partnership with India," Toner said.

"His experience and his expertise in the business community or on business issues are also important to our bilateral relationship and are particularly welcome."

"And certainly Secretary Clinton, enjoyed a very productive, constructive relationship with Minister Krishna and she looks forward to working closely now with Minister Khurshid," Toner said.

Asked if Clinton had invited Khurshid to visit the US, he said: "I'm not aware that they've spoken yet, and so I don't know."

IANS

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