US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday a day after he arrived in New Delhi on a three-day visit to the country to strengthen strategic ties between the two nations.
Hours after Pompeo landed in New Delhi, the US said his visit to New Delhi is aimed at deepening strategic relationship with India. “Prime Minister Modi’s sweeping mandate in the recent elections creates a unique opportunity to realize this vision,” the US State Department said in a statement.
Pompeo’s visit comes ahead of a meeting between US President Donald Trump and PM Modi on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, which will be held in Japan’s Osaka on June 28-29.
Later, in the day, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will host a working lunch for Pompeo and the two leaders will try to find common ground on trade issues during their discussions.
“India will meet the US Secretary of State with a positive attitude to find common ground to resolve trade issues,” Jaishankar said earlier on Tuesday.
“Both the countries are having their own interests. And it is natural to have some conflicts because of that. We will find a common ground using diplomacy. We will hold discussions with the US with a positive approach,” he added.
Terrorism, H-1B visas, trade, India’s S-400 missile deal with Russia and the situation arising out of the US sanctions on buying oil from Iran, are among the key issues that the two leaders are expected to discuss.
Pompeo is also expected to meet NSA Ajit Doval and discuss multiple issues including terror and defence.
Mike Pompeo’s visit marks the third visit to India by a Secretary of State during the Trump administration.
Earlier on Tuesday, diplomatic sources said India could not wish away its defence partnership with Russia. They emphasised that Washington must keep the $5 billion S-400 deal with Russia out of the purview of CAATSA keeping in view India’s security needs.
Jaishankar is expected to point out to Mike Pompeo that the US administration has enough scope for flexibility to grant a waiver to India on the purchase of S-400 defence systems.
On indications that the US administration could place a cap on H-1B visa which could affect Indian techies, sources said India has not heard anything official on this count from Washington.