John Kerry postpones departure, would stay until Friday or Saturday

New Delhi: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday postponed his departure from India by at least two days, prompting speculation about the reasons for the sudden decision.

Kerry, whose official engagements here ended with a call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi this afternoon, was scheduled to leave at 5.30 pm. However, he may now leave either on Friday or Saturday for China where he will join President Barack Obama for the G-20 Summit. Deputy Spokesperson in State Department Mark Toner, who is travelling with Kerry, said, the visit has been extended to enable him to travel to China for G-20 Summit this weekend.

“Kerry would now remain in the Indian capital until Friday or Saturday, 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. It was not clear that whether Kerry’s decision to travel to China was taken at the last minute or whether he was planning to visit any other country in the region which may have been called off.

Kerry arrived here on August 29 to co-chair the 2nd India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue during which the two sides discussed key issues including terrorism emanating from Pakistan.