Tillerson’s visit to India highlights emerging alliance

Washington: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, during his maiden visit to India, engaged in a bilateral dialogue on boosting US India partnerships, India’s leadership on peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region and its vital role in Trump administration’s South Asia.

Divulging the details of Tillerson’s maiden visit to India, his spokesperson here said the top Trump official met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

“US and Indian officials discussed strengthening US India partnerships, India’s leadership on peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region and India’s vital role in the administration’s South Asia Strategy,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters at her daily news conference.

The secretary also highlighted the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit which will be co-hosted by the US and India in Hyderabad in November, she said.

President’s senior advisor and daughter Ivanka Trump would be leading a high-powered delegation to India, she added.

“In all of his meetings, the secretary emphasised that US and Indian relations are strengthened by the core bond of our two countries, the values of individual liberty and rule of law and our president has said– the future of our partnership has never looked brighter,”she said.

Earlier, Tillerson told reporters in Geneva his last stop before flying back to the US that in India, he continued to share Trump Administration’s message about South Asia strategy and India’s role.

“We’re grateful for India’s generous contributions to the development of Afghanistan, and we hope to see greater involvement from them,” Tillerson said adding that the Administration will work to make the US-India Strategic Partnership the foundation for greater peace, stability, and growth of the Indo-Pacific region.

“We support India’s responsible rise and want to find new ways to partner with them and other like minded countries in Asia,” he said.

Noting that he had a very comprehensive discussion on economic and security links with Modi, Doval and Swaraj, Tillerson said it is essential that the two democracies work together to address the challenges facing both of them.