US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the Capital on Wednesday to re-energise the bilateral ties and to narrow the differences on various issues ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in September.
US chargé d’affaires Doris Kathleen Stephens hosted a dinner for Kerry, which was also attended by Indian business leaders.
The secretary of state will co-chair the 5th India-US strategic dialogue with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday. The two sides are keen to lock in “transformative initiatives” to make Modi’s visit result-oriented in spheres of energy, skill-development, defence and security. India will also take up the issue of NSA snooping with Kerry.
India’s position that the trade facilitation agreement (TFA) at the World Trade Organisation — be put on hold until a permanent solution on public stockholding for food security is found has riled the west, including the US.
The Indian government is of the view that the UPA-II government should have taken a firm stand on the issue at Bali rather than agreeing to a permanent solution on the food security issue to be found by 2017.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the ministers are expected to explore new frontiers and initiatives to further promote bilateral relations. “The opportunity will be taken to explore transformative initiatives which can move the Indo-US relations to the next level. In this context, Kerry will also meet PM Modi”.
Edit: Kerry's visit is a chance for India, US to address differences on key issues
When asked whether India would raise the issue of snooping by US National Security Agency (NSA) on the ruling BJP among others, he said there was “considerable disquiet” over the issue and that it was expected to be discussed under the cyber-security section.
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