Hillary Clinton arrives in Delhi, to meet PM, Sonia

New Delhi, May 7: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived here on Monday afternoon after winding up her one-day visit to Kolkata.

Clinton was received by India’s Ambassador to the United States Nirupama Rao and senior officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and the U.S. Embassy in Delhi.

During her stay in New Delhi, Clinton will call on Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at his official 7, Race Course Road (RCR) residence at 6 p.m. today, which would be followed by a meeting with United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence at around 7 p.m.

Earlier in the day, Clinton met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata, who described her meeting with visiting United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as constructive and creative.

“We had a very positive, constructive, creative and concrete discussion,” Banerjee told the media in Kolkata after a nearly hour-long meeting with Clinton.

“We discussed our burning issues like Darjeeling and Jungle Mahal which are now settled, so that is a good situation… We discussed everything in details – it was a one-hour meeting. I will be happy if we work together,” she added.

Banerjee further said that discussions had also centered on culture, tourism, IT and entertainment, and added that she had told Clinton to meet her again.

Earlier, Clinton urged energy-starved India to reduce its oil imports from Iran to maintain global pressure on that country to come clean on its nuclear program.

Addressing a town hall meeting in Kolkata, Clinton said New Delhi could find and tap alternative sources for oil, and added that Washington would like to see New Delhi do more to reduce its imports from Iran.

“India… is certainly working towards lowering purchases of Iranian oil. We commend the steps they have taken thus far. We hope they will do even more,” she said.

Clinton also brings up Hafiz Saeed, saying that she authorized the 10 million dollar bounty leading to information leading to arrest, as a means of showing India that the US stands with it.

She said that both the US and India with their pluralistic societies are the biggest threat to extremists because of their culture of tolerance. The extremists hate tolerance. They want everyone to think the way she do.

On Tuesday, she will have a meeting with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna before addressing a joint press conference with him.

Clinton said the United States wanted a peaceful solution and pointed to efforts by President Barack Obama early in his term to reach out to Iran. (ANI)