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Foreign Secretary Gokhale leaves for Washington to meet US officials

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale began a three-day visit to the US on Monday during which he will meet senior officials of the Trump administration and exchange views on major foreign policy and security-related developments.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Amid the India-Pakistan tension, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale is visiting Washington for consultations with senior US State Department officials on a range of issues.

The visit also assumes significance because the UN Security Council later this week takes up the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist. The JeM has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack in which more than 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

The Ministry of External Affairs said Gokhale’s visit to Washington was in connection with the bilateral foreign office consultation and strategic security dialogue with his US counterparts.

Gokhale will meet Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson, respectively.

“These are regular high-level dialogue mechanisms to review bilateral relations, exchange views on major foreign policy and security-related developments and coordinate respective positions on issues of common interest,” a ministry said.

During his visit, the Foreign Secretary is also likely to meet senior leaders in the US administration and US Congress.

There has been hectic activity in major world capitals since India’s aerial strikes of 27 February in Pakistan’s Balakot. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the US, the UK and China have been in touch with the leaderships in both India and Pakistan to bring down the temperature in the region. Pakistan is under intense pressure from the global community to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure on its soil.