No clarity on S-400 missile, trade and defence top the agenda of talks between Jaishankar and Pompeo in New Delhi

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Published: June 26, 2019 6:45:43 PM

According to the visiting American leader said India is an important partner of the US and that the bilateral ties were reaching new heights.

In his opening statement, the US secretary said that the US-India partnership is beginning to reach new heights. (Reuters image)In his opening statement, the US secretary said that the US-India partnership is beginning to reach new heights. (Reuters image)

India tells the US that it would be guided by its own national interest when it came to purchasing defence systems from Russia.

Observing that the Indo-US strategic partnership was based on deep and broad convergence, external affairs minister S Jaishankar told the media persons at a joint press conference that talks with the visiting US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo focussed on key issues including energy security, trade, the situation in Afghanistan, the Indo-Pacific region and people to people contacts.

“We have many relationships. They have a history. We will do what is in our national interest and part of that strategic partnership is the ability of each country to comprehend and appreciate the national interest of the other,” external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar told media persons at a joint press meet at the end of talks.

He was responding to a media query related to the issue of sanctions under the US’ Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) which may also impact India’s procurement of the S400 missile systems from Russia.

According to the visiting American leader said India is an important partner of the US and that the bilateral ties were reaching new heights.

To a question on the US-Iran tension which could impact India’s Energy Security, external affairs minister said that the issue was discussed and India shared the country’s interests and concerns with the visiting leader. Besides the energy security, India has other concerns in the region which includes diaspora, regional security, and trade. And confirmed that Chabahar did not come up in the talks as India does not an outstanding concern there at the moment.

In his opening statement, the US secretary said that the US-India partnership is beginning to reach new heights. “US-India partnership is already beginning to reach new heights, including our defense corporation and our common vision for free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Adding “We have solidified our common vision for free and open Indo-Pacific and we have grown cooperation in energy, space and other areas.”

To a question relating to trade issues that have been raised by both sides, Jaishankar said, “The sign of a mature relationship is your ability to negotiate the way through that relationship. Perhaps, it has not been as effective as it could and should have been in the recent past.”

According to Pompeo, “India is an important friend and partner for America and we are looking at the issues. We can see each other not just as bilateral partners, but something much bigger than that so that we can help each other all around the world.”

On the Indo-Pacific, the external affairs minister said that it is for something, not against somebody and that something is peace, security, stability and prosperity.

Pompeo, who arrived here Tuesday night, also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the morning and in a meeting which lasted more than twenty minutes the two discussed various aspects of the Indo-US relationship.

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