Strategic ties Kerrys top agenda during India trip

Washington: US secretary of state John Kerry during his India visit will discuss President Barack Obama’s upcoming trip and aspects of bilateral strategic and economic relationship with high-level Indian officials, his spokesperson said on Thursday.

“While he (Kerry) is there (in Ahmedabad), he’ll have meetings with a range of officials. Certainly, they’ll be discussing the (US) President’s upcoming trip as well as our economic relationship, our strategic relationship, our relationship on issues like energy,” state department spokesperson Jen Psaki, told reporters.

Kerry is travelling to India over the weekend to attend the Vibrant Gujarat Summit which would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On his return, Kerry would brief Obama, Psaki said.

The US President is scheduled to travel to India later this month to attend the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi on 26 January as its chief guest.

“The Secretary’s looking forward to having those discussions, and he’ll certainly be briefing the President in between trips,” she said.

Kerry would be addressing the Vibrant Gujarat Global Innovator Summit in which he would be speaking about a range of issues.

“And certainly, innovation, our energy cooperation and partnership, our economic relationship are central to the focus of the dialogue between the secretary and his counterparts when he visits India this weekend,” she said.

US’ new ambassador to India Richard Rahul Verma arrived in New Delhi last week ahead of the two important trips.

“He (Verma) obviously is somebody we felt was a strong choice to be our ambassador to a country where we’re continuing to grow our relationship with. He’s just been on the ground for a couple of weeks. I know he has an ambitious agenda there, so we’ll look forward to seeing him this weekend,” Psaki said. 



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