US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday. Later in the day, he will also meet Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to discuss agenda for the US-India strategic partnership.
Terrorism, H1B visas, trade and the situation arising out of US sanctions on buying oil from Iran, will be among a host of issues on the table when External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar holds talks with Pompeo.
This is the first high-level engagement with the US after the General Elections in India. Pompeo's visit will be an important opportunity for both sides to explore ways to further strengthen the India-US Strategic Partnership.
It will also continue the high-level engagement on matters of mutual interest including bilateral, regional and global issues. He will meet Indian and US businesses in a round table format and deliver a policy speech at the India International Centre.
Entire spectrum of the relationship will be on the table
As per reports, there is no structured agenda for the talks between Pompeo and Jaishankar, and the entire spectrum of the relationship will be on the table. They said, the talks will be substantive but should be seen as getting to know each other meeting, rather than one with concrete deliverables and agreements.
Sources said, there has been substantial progress on this front with trade going up by double digits in the last three years and trade deficit going down by double digits.
Pompeo will also deliver a speech on the future of the relationship and opportunities for cooperation on global issues of shared concern.
As vibrant democracies rooted in shared values, with fast-growing economies, cultures of entrepreneurship, and leadership positions on the global stage, the United States and India are natural strategic partners, a statement issued by the US Department of State said, reported IANS.
US President Donald Trump and Modi are firmly committed to accelerating the upward trajectory of this partnership. Modi's sweeping mandate in the recent elections creates a unique opportunity to realise this vision, it said.
The statement further said: "The US and India are moving quickly to achieve our shared vision for a free, open, and rules-based Indo-Pacific region by expanding cooperation in areas such as energy, aviation, and space".
"We have elevated the level of strategic interaction between our two countries, most notably through the annual 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue that pairs the Secretaries of State and Defense with their Indian counterparts.
"The first 2+2 was held in September 2018 and culminated in the announcement of a new tri-service exercise and the signing of a secure communications agreement that will enable India to operationalize its status as a Major Defense Partner," it said.