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US calls India ‘great ally’; no word yet on Pompeo visit

Secretary Pompeo will meet his India counterpart certainly in September when the United States hosts the second edition of the 2+2 ministerial dialogue, along with defense ministers of the two countries

world Updated: May 29, 2019 22:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent, Washington
United States of America,World news,Mike Pompeo
US secretary of State Mike Pompeo(REUTERS FILE PHOTO)

The United States on Tuesday called India a “great ally” and reiterated it is looking forward to working “closely” with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose re-election has been welcomed by President Donald Trump and other senior members of his administration.

But there was no word yet about a India visit by US secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as has been suggested in reports. A stand-alone visit from the secretary is long overdue — his first and only trip to India so far was undertaken last September as part of the inaugural 2+2 ministerial. Though a visit was not being ruled out, there were no dates or announcements.

Secretary Pompeo will meet his India counterpart certainly in September when the United States hosts the second edition of the 2+2 ministerial dialogue, along with defense ministers of the two countries

Calling the elections “historic, incredibly impressive”, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told reporters Tuesday, “So we, of course, will work closely with Modi, as we have many times. We’re confident in the fairness and integrity of the elections, and I think that Secretary Pompeo will have a very robust discussion on a range of issues”

Ortagus added: “India is a great ally and partner of the United States.”

Though there is uncertainty about a Pompeo visit, Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to meet President Trump on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan later in June, as they discussed in a phone call from the American leader last week.

They will meet together with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the trilateral format, the inaugural edition of which took place on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires. Argentina last November-December. Efforts are reported to be underway for a bilateral meeting as well.

The second edition of the trilateral — which was christened JAI (Hindi for victory) by Prime Minister Modi using the first letters of the names of the three countries — is expected to be “more substantive” than the first, according to people familiar with the planning of the meeting.

The White House had said in a readout of the call the meeting was being held in pursuit of “their shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific”.

First Published: May 29, 2019 22:13 IST