Agencies, New Delhi
Days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bilateral meeting with President Donald Trump, the US Secretary of State Micheal R Pompeo kicked off his crucial diplomatic engagements here on Wednesday by meeting Mr Modi.
“Working together to further deepen our strategic partnership. Secretary Pompeo called on PM Narendra Modi to exchange views on various aspects of Indo-US relationship,” MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
Mr Pompeo’s India visit is also being billed as preparing ground for Mr Modi’s meeting President Trump on the sidelines of G20 at Osaka in Japan on June 28.
Mr Pompeo then rushed to the South Block where he was received by the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
This is the first high profile meeting after a massive electoral win recorded by Prime Minister Modi.
Mr Pompeo arrived here on Tuesday evening on a three-day visit for crucial meetings with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Prime Minister Modi at a time when India and the US have made dramatic improvements in ties but also face serious challenges over data flows and trade issues.
The visit will mark “exchange of views on a range of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest”, MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said on Tuesday.
The US government in a statement has said that “the bond between the US and India is unbreakable”.
“As the world’s oldest and largest democracies, the United States and India share deep respect for one another’s values and traditions. Our people and cultures are profoundly intertwined,” it said.
Mr Pompeo will meet External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar in the afternoon. Both the leaders are expected to issue press statements at the end of formal parleys.
Terrorism, Afghanistan related issues, Iran-US conflict, trade issues between India and the United States, Indo Pacific Region and other matters will figure at the US Secretary of State Pompeo’s parleys with Dr Jaishankar.
Observers feel the renewed mandate has given the Modi government the green signal to take bold reforms to propel India towards faster growth.
The US is keen to strengthen India-US Strategic partnership and the defence ties.
The US ambassador to India Ken Juster met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here on Tuesday.
Previous day, on Monday he had called on Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and shared his views on the meeting in a tweet saying: “Always a pleasure to meet again with Minister Rajnath Singh. Good discussion on the US India Defense relationship”.