US Secretary of State John Kerry
US Secretary of State John KerryUS Department of State

US Secretary of State John Kerry is gearing up for a three-day visit to India starting 23 June to lead the fourth India-US strategic dialogue. His talks with Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid will range from economical issues to higher education in the Asian country.

From Doha, Secretary Kerry will travel to New Delhi, from 23-25 June.

"Topics for discussion will include bilateral and regional economic engagement, regional security and defense, science and technology, climate change, and other global issues such as women's empowerment, non-proliferation and space cooperation," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement.

In fact, Kerry has been encouraged by Congressman Charles W. Boustany to address talks on liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to India in order to reduce India's dependence on crude oil imports from the West Asian countries.

"The United States has a unique opening to provide its allies with a steady, reliable source of energy. India is the world's sixth largest importer of LNG with expected demand to rise annually at a rate of five to six percent until 2020. South Louisiana finds itself in the center of activity as LNG will be exported out of the Sabine Pass export terminal beginning in 2014," Boustany promoted in a statement.

Kerry is keen to "meet with young leaders and innovators at an event highlighting U.S.-India cooperation on clean energy, climate change, science and technology, and poverty alleviation," said Psaki. He will deliver a policy speech on bilateral and regional issues.

The Strategic Dialogue was inaugurated in 2009 as a forum to talk about a range of bilateral and regional issues between the two countries. Like always, the US has recoiled from taking a stand on the Indo-Pak issue of Kashmir, one of the major regional affairs.

"Our stand hasn't changed. Those discussions (Kashmir issue) are up to the governments of Pakistan and India," Psaki said at a press briefing in Washington.

"We are going to talk about our shared interests and economic integration in the region. And our commitment to a secure, stable and peaceful Afghanistan and India's regional leadership," Secretary Kerry stressed.

Kerry's India visit is part of a 10-day trip to Asia. He will leave Washington DC on 22 June for Doha where he is scheduled to meet with senior Qatari officials to discuss bilateral and regional issues on 23 June.

In Jeddah on 25 June, Kerry is scheduled to hold discussions on bilateral and regional issues with senior Saudi officials.

He will go to Kuwait City on 26 June and on 27-29 June, he will travel to Amman and Jerusalem to hold meetings with Jordanian, Israeli, and Palestinian Authority officials on advancing Middle East peace.

His final stop will be Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on 2 July. He will participate in several annual regional conferences. While in Brunei, he will hold meetings on ASEAN-related issues with Bruneian officials, including with the Sultan of Brunei.

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