Indian PM Singh to visit White House in late September

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is due to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on September 27, the White House said on Tuesday.

Singh has come under fire in India for quietly trying to restart peace talks with arch-rival Pakistan. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for better relations with India after weeks of mounting tensions along the border the two countries share in mountainous Kashmir.

India is under pressure from the United States to ratchet down tensions with Pakistan to stabilize the region as foreign forces prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan.

Both U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry have visited New Delhi recently to discuss Afghanistan, where India and Pakistan are vying for influence.

U.S. national security adviser Susan Rice announced plans for the meeting between Singh and Obama after discussions with her Indian counterpart, Shivshankar Menon.

“The two exchanged ideas on enhancing our security cooperation, reviewed progress on our civil nuclear and clean energy cooperation, and explored greater collaboration on climate change,” NSC spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in a statement. “Ambassador Rice and NSA Menon also discussed India’s continued support for a stable, secure, and prosperous Afghanistan.”

Obama visited India in 2010 and Singh was at the White House in 2009.

(Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Eric Walsh)