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US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in India for three-day visit

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 22:33

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: In what can be seen as President Barack Obama`s attempt to strengthen ties with the new Indian government, US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday arrived for his three-day visit in India.

Kerry, who arrived with his entourage, was received by the US chargé d`affaires to India, Kathleen Stephens.

Before arriving to India, Kerry had said that the developmental plan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi reflected in his poll slogan of "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas" is a great vision.

Modi on Tuesday held a meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley ahead of Kerry`s visit, where they are understood to have discussed the present status of relations between the two countries.

Meanwhile, as per MEA, during his visit, Kerry and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will jointly chair the fifth annual India-US Strategic Dialogue at 3 pm on Thursday. This will be followed by delegation-level talks.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters here that both Kerry and Sushma Swaraj will interact with the media after the talks.

The media interaction will be followed by a working dinner between Kerry and Sushma Swaraj.

"India-US relation is witnessing a stable and mature growth and the meeting between Sushma Swaraj and Kerry is expected to explore new frontiers and initiatives to strengthen bilateral ties," Akbaruddin said.

Kerry in his address at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a major US think-tank, said on Monday evening, that he would be "emphasising the opportunities" in which the US and India can become indispensable partners when he touches base with the new Indian government.

Mentioning Modi`s name 11 times in his address, he said: "The new Indian government`s plan, `Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas`, together with all, development for all - that`s a concept, a vision that we want to support.

"We believe it`s a great vision, and our private sector is eager to be a catalyst in India`s economic revitalisation."

Kerry will be accompanied by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on the visit. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is to visit next month as part of preparations for the meeting between Modi and President Barack Obama in Washington.

State Department Spokesperson Jennifer Psaki said in a statement that in addition to holding the Strategic Dialogue, Kerry will meet Prime Minister Modi, "the first Cabinet-level meeting with a US official since the inauguration of the new Indian government".

She added that discussion will cover "the full range of bilateral issues, including expanding bilateral trade, tackling climate change, improving India`s energy security through cooperation in clean energy and energy access, and expanding our already robust people-to-people ties".

The visit of the US` top diplomat "underscores the importance of the US-India partnership, and will lay the groundwork for Prime Minister Modi`s September visit to the United States".

(With Agency inputs)

First Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 18:49
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