New Delhi: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar will hold talks in New Delhi today. Terrorism, H1B visas, trade, India’s arms deal with Russia and the situation arising out of the US sanctions on buying oil from Iran, will be among the key issues that the two leaders will discuss. Mr Pompeo’s visit is the first high-level visit from any country after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stunning victory in the national election. During his visit, the top Trump administration will also meet PM Modi.
Here are the top 10 updates on Mike Pompeo’s India visit:
- Mr Pompeo’s visit comes ahead of a meeting between US President Donald Trump and PM Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit, which will be held in Japan’s Osaka this week.
- Hours after Mr Pompeo landed in New Delhi last night, the US said his visit to New Delhi is aimed at deepening strategic relationship with India. “Prime Minister Modi’s sweeping mandate in the recent elections creates a unique opportunity to realize this vision,” the US State Department said in a statement.
- Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, who will host a working lunch for Mr Pompeo this afternoon, said India will try to find common ground on trade issues during their discussions. “We will be meeting with a positive attitude…The meeting with Mike Pompeo will be an important one. We will definitely discuss issues related to trade between the two countries,” Mr Jaishankar told reporters on Tuesday. “Both the countries are having their own interests. And it is natural to have some conflicts because of that. We will find a common ground using diplomacy. We will hold discussions with the US with a positive approach,” he added.
- Diplomatic sources in India say all issues are on the table, and there is no structured agenda for the discussions between Mr Jaishankar and Mr Pompeo.
- On US opposition to India’s $5 billion deal for acquiring S-400 missile system from Russia, sources said despite the threat of US sanctions, New Delhi will point out that the US has a law that offers a way out. India’s stance will be made clear to Mr Pompeo during his visit.
- The US wants India to cancel the purchase of the missiles, citing a law that imposes sanctions on any country that has “significant transactions” with Iran, North Korea or Russia.
- Another topic that is likely to figure high in the talks is the H-1B issue with an American official saying Mike Pompeo will assure India that the Trump administration has no plans to impose a cap on issuing the highly sought-after H-1B visas that are forcing foreign companies to store data locally.
- Mike Pompeo will also interact with Indian and US businesses at a round table meet and deliver a policy speech at the India International Centre in Delhi this evening.
- After his India visit, Mr Pompeo will fly to Japan to attend the G-20 summit with Donald Trump. PM Modi would also be attending the summit of leaders from top 20 economies of the world. The two leaders are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the summit.
- Mike Pompeo’s visit marks the third visit to India by a Secretary of State during the Trump administration.
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