Pompeo calls on PM, discusses bilateral issues

Pompeo calls on PM, discusses bilateral issues

Agency News

New Delhi, Jun 26 : The visiting US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Wednesday.

This is the first high profile meeting after a massive electoral win recorded by Prime Minister Modi. Observers feel the renewed mandate has given the Modi government the green signal to take bold reforms to propel India towards faster growth.

Mr Pompeo arrived here on Tuesday evening on a three-day visit for crucial meetings with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a time when India and the US have made dramatic improvements in ties but also face serious challenges over data flows and trade issues.

The visit will mark "exchange of views on a range of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest", MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said. "A big welcome to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It’s great to have you and your team in India. We look forward to excellent meetings to advance the U.S.-India strategic partnership," Ken Juster, US envoy to India tweeted on Tuesday late evening.

Terrorism, Afghanistan related issues, Iran-US conflict, trade issues between India and the US, Indo Pacific Region and other matters will figure at the US Secretary of State Pompeo's parleys with Dr Jaishankar on Wednesday. "The maximum benefits we can get out of this talk is 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 on Tuesday. External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar also has said: "We will be meeting (Mr Pompeo) with a positive attitude".

Washington has strongly favoured New Delhi lowering the trade barriers and "embrace fair and reciprocal trade". "The Trump administration is working to ensure that American companies operating in India have the same level playing field that Indian companies enjoy in the United States. There is enormous potential to grow our trade relationship and create the high-quality jobs that Prime Minister Modi wants if India lowers trade barriers and embraces fair and reciprocal trade," an US government statement said here.

The statement says - "the bond between the US and India is unbreakable". Mr Pompeo will meet External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar in the afternoon. Both the leaders are expected to issue press statements at the end of formal parleys. The US Secretary of State will also deliver a 'India Policy' watch later in the evening, sources said. (UNI)