Mike Pompeo to visit India on June 24, ahead of Modi-Trump G-20 meet

Mike Pompeo to visit India on June 24, ahead of Modi-Trump G-20 meet

Mike Pompeo to visit India on June 24, ahead of Modi-Trump G-20 meet

By / USA News / Tuesday, 11 June 2019 07:02

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo will start a three-country tour from June 24 to advance the “shared goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific”, a phrase used to describe concern in the region about an aggressive China, and his first stop will be New Delhi, the state department announced on Monday.This will be a first India visit by any member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term.

“I am pleased to announce that Secretary Pompeo will travel to the Indo-Pacific region on June 24th through the 30th to broaden and deepen our partnership with key countries to advance our shared goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” state department Morgan Ortagus said.

The secretary of state is expected to speak in detail about elements of the visit in a speech at an annual summit hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce on ties with India on Wednesday. “I’ll be speaking to a group of Indian business leaders in preparation for the trip that I’ll take in a couple weeks where I’ll be visiting India, an important part of President Trump’s strategy in the Indo-Pacific,” Pompeo told reporters. “And I’m looking forward to the opportunity both to give the set of remarks about how it is our relationship is so closely tied economically, but also importantly the things that the United States and India can continue to do to build out what is an incredibly important relationship for both countries.”

“Prime Minister Modi’s recent election victory provides an excellent opportunity for him to implement his vision for a strong and prosperous India that plays a leading role on the global stage,” he said.

This will be Pompeo’s second visit to India as secretary of state but his first stand-alone. He was last in India in September for the inaugural edition of the 2+2 ministerial meeting, with then Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to meet President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for their second trilateral meeting on the sidelines of that summit, June 28-29. The Indian and American leaders could also meet separately for a bilateral; a pull-aside or a sit-down, Indian and US officials have said, as discussions continue to determine the format.

These meetings, first in New Delhi and then in Osaka, will take place amid both deepening strategic and economic ties  including a massive spike in defense sales to India and growing trade tensions. Earlier this month, the United Stated terminated India’s eligibility for a special trade status that allowed $6 billion worth of Indian goods into the United States duty-free in 2018. More severe trade actions are said to be on the anvil as the Trump administration tries to push India to open up its medical devices and dairy products markets.

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Hum Hindustani

Hum Hindustani

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