US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during his three-day visit to the country said the US-India partnership is reaching new heights with cooperation in the defence, energy, space and other sectors and a common vision for free and open Indo-Pacific.
“We can see each other not just as bilateral partners, but something much bigger than that so that we can help each other all around the world,” Pompeo said while addressing the media.
The two leaders discussed a number of bilateral and global issues including terrorism. EAM Jaishankar expressed India’s appreciation for the strong support that the country received from the Trump administration on its zero-tolerance towards cross-border terrorism.
Jaishankar further pointed out that the Indo-Pacific was not against anyone but was for peace, security, stability and prosperity.
“We are looking at a landscape where a number of independent players work together for what they believe to be global good,” he said.
On Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) issue, Jaishankar asserted that India has many relationships with many countries; many of which are standing. “They have a history. We will do what is in our national interest,” he added.
New Delhi is expecting the US administration to grant a waiver from sanctions to its procurement of five S-400 missile defence systems from Russia over which a threat of sanctions is looming large.
Diplomatic sources had on Tuesday said that S-400 is an issue for the US but the deal cannot be set aside as India has a long-standing relationship with Russia.
Brushing aside the threat of American sanctions, India in October last year signed the deal to buy five S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems from Russia in at an estimated cost of $5.43 billion.
The US wants India to cancel the deal with Russia, failing which sanctions could be imposed.
Jaishankar also expressed India’s concern over the ongoing US-Iran tensions saying that it was not only an issue of energy security but also of diaspora, regional security and trade.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Mike Pompeo called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi and conveyed greetings of President Donald Trump to the PM. He also congratulated Modi on his electoral victory.
Modi, in turn, thanked Secretary Pompeo for his warm greetings and requested him to convey his thanks also to Trump for his good wishes.
During the brief meeting, PM Modi reiterated the priority that he attaches to relations with the US and outlined his vision for the strategic partnership in the new tenure of the Government and beyond, building on a strong foundation of trust and shared interest.
The Prime Minister expressed his strong commitment to achieving the full potential of bilateral relations in trade and economy, energy, defence, counter-terrorism and people-to-people contacts.
Pompeo expressed the Trump government’s continued interest in building stronger relations with India and working together to realize the shared vision and goals.