WASHINGTON (CNN) - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - the leader of the world's largest democracy - will make a noteworthy appearance at the White House Tuesday: the first official state visit of President Barack Obama's administration.
Obama and Singh are expected to touch on a range of issues affecting both countries in their discussions during the visit: counterterrorism, climate change, the Afghan war, Pakistan, economic recovery, and nuclear power and non-proliferation.
The visit comes amid India's always tense relationship with nuclear rival Pakistan, regional concerns over the fighting in Afghanistan, and the burgeoning trade relationship between the United States and India - a country of 1.2 billion people with a growing and influential diaspora in America.
"This is a very important relationship with a very important country that we have in the world," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Monday. "That's why India was chosen to be the first visit."