Secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Saturday called up external affairs minister Salman Khurshid and thanked him for India's leadership role in securing the dialogue-partner status for the US in Indian OCean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation.
The phone call from Clinton came a day after the US was inducted as a dialogue partner in the 20-nation IOR-ARC grouping at its meeting in Gurgaon, following hectic behind-the-stage diplomacy led by India.
The US has joined the grouping of as the sixth dialogue partner after China, Japan, the UK, France and Egypt.
During the about 15-minute telephonic conversation with Khurshid, Clinton emphasised the importance of Indo-US relations and the need to carry them forward, official sources said.
Clinton invited Khurshid to visit the US next year, they said.
Khurshid conveyed to Clinton "deep sympathies" over the devastation caused in the US by superstorm Sandy, official sources said.
Clinton recalled Khurshid's visit to the White House as a member of Indian delegation led by the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao in 1990s.
She also congratulated him on assuming the charge of external affairs ministry.