US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today to discuss various aspects of the India-US bilateral relationship and strengthen the strategic partnership between the two nations.
PM Modi reiterated the priority that he attaches to relations with the US 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," said a government release.
The PM also "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."
"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. PM will meet President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the upcoming G20 Osaka Summit," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
Pompeo, who arrived last night, also met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Their discussions touched on several sensitive topics including India's continued reliance on oil imports from Iran. Jaishankar insisted that India's interests were in ensuring price stability, affordability and predictability in its energy procurement. Pompeo replied that there was a shared understanding between India and US about the threat of global terrorism - and that the US considered Iran as the world's largest state sponsor of terror - and a common purpose to keep energy at the right prices.
Other topics that were discussed were India's missile defence system deal with Russia, terrorism, H-1B visas and other trade-related issues. In recent weeks ahead of Pompeo's visit, all these topics have been grabbing the headlines around the world amid talk of sanctions and trade tariffs.
Jaishankar said everyone should not be carried away by the noise. One must instead look at the strength of the relationship between the two countries and their ability to address such issues.
Pompeo's talks are the first high-level interaction between the two countries after return of the Modi government to power last month.
Pompeo's visit comes ahead of a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Modi on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan later this week.