Agencies, New Delhi
India and the United States on Wednesday leaped forward in strengthening India-US Strategic Partnership braving irritants in trade ties with both the sides agreeing that there is also enhanced level of understanding and appreciation of India’s defence position and other requirements among the policy makers in America.
“We see one another (India and the US) not simply as bilateral companions, however one thing a lot greater than that, in order that we may help one another all all over the world,” the visiting US secretary of State Mike Pompeo said here after talks with Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar.
On the vexed issues of ‘trade disputes and S-400 procurement programme of India from Russia,’ Mr Pompeo went onto say: “I see the two issues as real opportunities, I know that we can work together and provide a foundation for the relationship”.
“I have never found an ally no matter how close, where we did not have places we have had to work. We have endeavoured to make sure that our countries can provide security for itself….. we also want India to be able to do that too,” Mr Pompeo remarked.
To a question whether India’s position on international affairs especially in the context of defence ties with Russia and India’s own defence preparedness is well understood by the policy makers in Washington, EAM Jaishankar said: “This (New Delhi meet on June 26) is a start” and there can be always room for more works.
For his part, Mr Pompeo also said – “India’s position is well understood in Washington….there is a deep keen appreciation” and more so in the context of a large Indian American population who helps American policy makers to understand how new India is evolving.
Dr Jaishankar said – “India and the US have a strategic partnership….The partnership is as broad as it is deep. Convergence of views on bilateral and regional interests has been growing steadily in the past few years”.
Agreeing to his Indian counterpart on growing ties and better understanding between the two sides, Mr Pompeo said: “The US-India partnership is already beginning to reach new heights, including our defense corporation and our common vision for free and open Indo-Pacific”.
Answering questions, Dr Jaishankar said both the leaders had detailed discussion about US-Iran conflict in the conflict. “We have a certain perspective on Iran, Secy Pompeo shared his views and I think both of us came better informed (at the end of the talks)”.
He said definitely there is “common ground on energy” between the US and India and it is obvious that the American establishment and the US Secretary of State himself understands “what India’s interests are”.
External Affairs Minister also said – “We discussed the situation in the Gulf, I shared our interests and concerns with Secretary Pompeo, energy security is part of it but there are other concerns as well about diaspora, regional security and trade”.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined his ‘vision’ for the Strategic Partnership in the new tenure of the Indian Government under him ‘and beyond’ and clearly emphasised that this will be built on strong foundation of ‘trust and shared interest’.
“The Prime Minister reiterated the priority that he attaches to relations with the U.S. and outlined his vision for the Strategic Partnership in the new tenure of the Government and beyond, building on strong foundation of trust and shared interest,” a series of tweets from PMO said in reference to the US Secretary of State’s meeting with him in morning hours.
“The Prime Minister expressed his strong commitment to achieve the full potential of bilateral relations in trade and economy, energy, defence, counter-terrorism and people-to-people contacts,” another missive said.
Mr Pompeo also conveyed greetings of President Donald Trump to the Prime Minister and congratulated him on his electoral victory.
The Prime Minister thanked Secretary Pompeo for his warm greetings and requested him to convey his thanks also to President Trump for his good wishes.
The two leaders discussed various aspects of the bilateral relationship to strengthen the India-US strategic partnership.
Mr Pompeo’s New Delhi visit comes days ahead of a meeting between US President Donald Trump and PM Modi on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan possibly on June 28.