After the return of the Modi government to power last month, the US Secretary of State’s Mr Pompeo’s meetings with the Indian leadership are the first high-level discussions on the Indo-Us relations.
During the talks, India made it clear that it will go by its national interest while dealing with other countries, including with sanctions-hit Russia from whom New Delhi is procuring S-400 missile defence systems.
This was conveyed by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to his American counterpart Mike Pompeo during an extensive bilateral meeting in New Delhi.
In a joint press interaction, Mr. Pompeo said India is an important partner of the US and that the bilateral ties were reaching new heights.
While answering a question on the issue of sanctions under the US’s Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) which may also impact India’s procurement of the S-400 systems from Moscow, Mr. Jaishankar said India has relationships with several countries.
“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,” Mr. Jaishankar said.
Noting that India-US strategic partnership was based on deep and broad convergence, Mr. Jaishankar said discussions with Mr. Pompeo were held on key issues including energy and trade as well as on the situation in Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific region.
On terrorism, Mr. Jaishankar said he expressed appreciation for strong support of the Trump administration.
Mr. Pompeo, who arrived here on Tuesday night, also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the morning and discussed various aspects of the Indo-US relationship.
Mr. Pompeo’s visit comes ahead of a meeting between Mr. Modi and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, later this week.