US Vice-President Joe Biden meets India PM Singh

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he and his wife Jill (R) arrive at the airport in New Delhi July 22, 2013
Image caption Mr Biden is the first US vice-president to visit India in three decades

US Vice-President Joe Biden is holding talks with Indian PM Manmohan Singh during a four-day visit to India to boost diplomatic and economic ties.

Mr Biden is the first US vice-president to visit India in three decades.

Mr Biden will also travel to the financial capital, Mumbai, to meet business leaders and deliver a speech on the economy.

Trade between two countries has grown from $9bn (£5.9) in 1995 to nearly $100bn this year.

Mr Biden, accompanied by his wife Jill, arrived in New Delhi on Monday evening.

He went immediately to visit a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, writing in the visitors' book that it was an "honour and great privilege" to to see a place "memorialising one man who changed the world".

Ahead of his visit Mr Biden had said in an interview with the Times of India newspaper that the world's two biggest democracies had a "tremendous capability to work together" but should be doing more.

But there are areas of concern - the US wants India to allow greater access to American firms, and a landmark nuclear deal has not delivered the lucrative contracts it promised to.

Correspondents say India is concerned about next year's withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

India has spent $2bn in aid in Afghanistan and fears the return of Taliban once the US leaves.

"We strongly support the role India has played in Afghanistan, leveraging its economic strength to improve Afghanistan's economy," Mr Biden told the Times.

He said India's aid "will help to ensure our common goal of a stable and prosperous future for the Afghan people".

During his landmark visit to India in November 2010, President Barack Obama had said Washington and Delhi's relationship would be one of the century's defining partnerships.

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