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Pompeo visits India on June 24: Energy security, arms import and trade tariffs top the agend

Date: 12-06-2019
Subject: Pompeo visits India on June 24: Energy security, arms import and trade tariffs top the agend
It is official. The White House has announced the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to the Indo-Pacific Region between June 24-30. Besides India which will be his first stop the top US official will also travel to Sri Lanka, Japan, and the Republic of Korea as the last stop.

Besides the trade matters, as reported earlier, issues related to the sanctions imposed by the US on Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and Russia which stops India to buy crude and arms import will be topping the Indian agenda.

Ahead of the visit, the US Secretary of state has said that the bilateral relationship with India is very important to both sides.

Before he embarks on his trip, he will be addressing the India Ideas Summit of US-India Business Council on June 12, in Washington DC where he will be interacting with Indian business honchos. And will also preview elements of a cooperative agenda during his remarks at the India Ideas Summit at the US Chamber of Commerce.

On Monday, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus had said that his travel is expected to broaden and deepen America’s partnership with key countries to advance their shared goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

He will be joining President Donald Trump in Osaka, Japan, to participate in the G20 Leaders’ Summit from June 28 -29, before accompanying him to South Korea to meet with President Moon Jae-in.

While the US has recognized India as a major defence partner, there have been several issues related to India’s energy security and tariffs.

The top US official will be meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan later this month.

This will also be a preparatory visit for the second 2+2 Indo-US Dialogue scheduled for later this year in the US.

The decision to withdraw the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a key trading preference under which India exported $5.6 billion in goods to the US in 2017, has put the ties under strain. There has been no breakthrough between the two sides on the Comprehensive Trade Agreement.

India’s import from countries including Iran and Venezuela has come to a complete halt. And this is going to harm India’s energy security. Recently, the US Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, had emphatically stated that sanctions will be imposed by the US administration without exceptions if they import from Iran.

The pressure is also mounting on India to stop its purchase of the S-400 Triumf missile shield from Russia. The US reiterated that sanctions will be imposed under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), if India does not stop this import.

The contract for $ 5.5 million deal was inked when the leaders of both countries Prime Minister Modi and the Russian President Vladimir Putin met for the annual summit in New Delhi last winter.

Later this week Modi will be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the SCO summit in Bishkek on June 13-14, and again at the G-20 summit in Japan. Modi will also have a bilateral meeting on the sidelines with President Trump.

The first time Pompeo had visited India was last September for the first 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, when he and the former Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis had meetings with the former defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and external affairs minister Swaraj.

Indian had managed to get a waiver on Iran sanctions after several rounds of negotiations with the officials of the Trump administration.

Source: financialexpress.com

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