Wednesday, 20 September, 2017

Kerry calls on Modi; shares US' view on developments in region

US plans trilateral talks with India Afghanistan Kerry calls on Modi; shares US' view on developments in region
Melinda Barton | 01 September, 2016, 14:08

India is a key strategic partner of the U.S. with the war against terror and stability of the Indian Ocean Region in focus, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said August 31 as he interacted with students at the premier Indian Institute of Technology here.

"Due to his travel to China for the G-20 summit this weekend, John Kerry will extend his stay in India", said deputy spokesperson of the U.S. State Department Mark Toner on Wednesday. "But he wanted to be able to attend the G-20, and so it just made practical sense from a logistical perspective, particularly as we had to finalise arrangements as far as for his ability to join the President, to stay there in New Delhi while those arrangements were made".

American support to right to protest was the highlight of a monsoon-drenched day that Kerry concluded with a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi whom he briefed about the S&CD. But State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Kerry would now remain in the Indian capital until September 2 or 3, when he will leave for the summit in Hangzhou. "Kerry's schedule for his remaining time in India is still to be determined", Toner told the accompanying media. "But it's going to take a while and one has to work through that", Kerry said here during a townhall meeting at IIT Delhi. A joint Indo-US statement that followed Tuesday's Strategic and Commercial Dialogue stated that the two sides "reiterated their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and reaffirmed their commitment to dismantle safe havens for terrorist and criminal networks such as Daesh/ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Tayeeba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, D Company and its affiliates and the Haqqani Network" and also "called on Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot terrorist attacks to justice".

Kerry, who witnessed incessant rain twice on his visit, joked about the water-logged roads of Delhi today.

Kerry said on Tuesday that Islamabad should not feel isolated by fresh talks that are planned between the United States, India and Afghanistan next month in NY.

"I don't know if you came in boats or amphibious vehicles of some kind", Kerry asked, provoking laughter. I have had many engagements with Nawaz Sharif.