External Affairs Minister SM Krishna arrived in Washington on Monday afternoon to hold the third India-US Strategic Dialogue with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during which the two leaders are expected to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues including Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Hours before Mr Krishna's arrival by a Acela train from New York, Ms Clinton set the tone for the talks by announcing that India has "significantly" reduced its dependence on Iranian oil and this would get waiver from the Iranian sanctions act of the US Congress.
The Strategic Dialogue, said External Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, is a reflection of the vastness of the India-US relationship and the breadth of engagement between the two countries.
"The issues on the table are pretty clear... it covers a whole host of things apart from discussing strategic and regional issues, we would also have issues related to human resources development, we have issues related to women empowerment and a whole set of issues, homeland security," the spokesperson said.
"We have a very elaborate delegation. We hope to engage in a very candid and forthright manner with the US counterparts," the spokesperson said.
Noting that it is difficult to bring down the India-US relationship to a single issue, he said the Strategic Dialogue would focus on a diverse range of issues.
Mr Krishna is accompanied by Minister for Science and Technology Vilasrao Deshmukh, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Prime Minister's Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation Advisor Sam Pitroda.