US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who is on a three-day visit to India, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
The meeting comes days after India imposed retaliatory tariffs on 25 American goods, less than two weeks after US President Donald Trump announced an end to preferential trade treatment for India over the trade barriers.
Here are the top updates on Mike Pompeo’s India visit:
– Hours after Mr Pompeo landed in New Delhi last night, the US said it wants PM Modi to lower trade barriers and embrace fair and reciprocal trade.
– Mr Pompeo today said, “The US wants greater market access. We’ve got to get the economic piece right”. Mr Jaishankar said he has “pushed for a constructive and pragmatic view”, and the “real test of our intentions will be our ability to deal with this”.
– In a significant statement, Pompeo said that people should stand up in defence of religious freedom for all and if there was a compromise on it, the world is worse off.
– “India is the birthplace of four major world religions. Let us stand up together in defence of religious freedom for all and let us speak out strongly together in favour of those rights, for whenever we do compromise those rights, the world is worse off,” he said at the India Policy Programme held here.
– In his speech, Pompeo appreciated India’s support to the United States on numerous fronts, including the global campaign of pressure and diplomacy with North Korea. “You [India] supported the global campaign of pressure and diplomacy with North Korea to encourage chairman Kim to go back to the bargaining table, and ultimately to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” he said.
– Pompeo’s speech touched upon a range of other issues, including India’s contribution to clean energy, UN’s recent listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, and India’s efforts to maintain long-lasting peace in Afghanistan.
– In a joint press conference with Jaishankar after the talks, Pompeo had said that India and the United States would look for ways to sort out issues pertaining to trade and the S400 missile deal between New Delhi and Moscow.
– “When I think about the two issues (trade and S400), I think of them as real opportunities; things that I know we can work together and will provide a foundation for a relationship (between the two countries),” Pompeo said.
The visit comes ahead of a meeting between US President Donald Trump and PM Modi that will be held on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Japan’s Osaka later this week.