No major pact on anvil,  but Pompeo’s trip will boost Indo-US ties

No major pact on anvil, but Pompeo’s trip will boost Indo-US ties

Agency News

New Delhi, Jun 25 : When it comes to dealing with countries such as the United States, India should 'look beyond MoUs and pacts', a diplomatic source said here on the eve of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to India."We should look beyond MoUs. The maximum benefits we can get out of this talk are what goes inside the hall and not what happens outside. Therefore, we should not look at Pompeo's visit to India - first since the re-election of the Modi government - not from the point of view of how many MoUs have been inked or otherwise," a diplomatic source said here.

India is definitely not approaching this visit eyeing towards MoUs and other things. "This is a visit about two ministers Mr Pompeo and Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar getting to know each other, because we will have many things to do at a later stage".

Mr Pompeo is arriving late Tuesday night and during his stay will have talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar. His visit concludes on June 27. The visit is expected to prepare ground for Modi-Donald Trump bilateral talks in Japan by month end at the sidelines of G20 Summit.

Prime Minister Modi and the US President Trump are likely having bilateral talks on June 28, the first day of the G20 Summit at Osaka in Japan. The visit of Mr Pompeo, as indicated by the US would like to give a "jump-start" to a discussion on trade and to resolve longstanding differences and 'irritants' in the bilateral relationship.Secretary Pompeo will talk specifically with his counterpart Dr Jaishankar whom the US administration considers "one of the visionaries behind the expansion of the US-India Strategic Partnership" about expanding security, energy, and space cooperation, among other things, an US official has said in Washington.

The US side is also expected to "assure" the Indian leadership that Washington have no plans to place caps on H-1B work. "On H-1B, we attach great importance to the U.S.-India relationship. Indians have contributed under the H-1B program to the U.S. economy....There is a broad review of the H-1B program underway, but this review is not targeted at India. It’s completely separate from our ongoing discussions with India about the importance of ensuring better trade," the US official has said.

Incidentally, this will be first meeting between Dr Jaishankar and his American counterpart Pompeo. The Indian officials have indicated that Pompeo-Jaishankar parleys on Wednesday in the capital is actually "just a beginning" to positive developments expected to further strengthen Indo-US ties in next five years."So, we are not seeing at this event as for signing MoUs etc...," the source said. "We are looking at this visit as an useful input," the diplomatic source said. The broad trajectory between two sides is 'very strong', the source pointed out. Sources, however, maintained that wide range of issues are expected to figure at the talks.

The US administration's "ambition" is to do business with the new administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, "to make headway, to jump-start a discussion on trade, and to move quickly to resolve what have been very longstanding differences and irritants in the bilateral relationship".

"....this is not something that’s going to be solved in one meeting, but being able to kickstart a serious process, a credible process, and a candid process is going to be critical," a senior US official has said.