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John Kerry, Sushma Swaraj to chair India-US Strategic Dialogue

New Delhi: US Secretary of State John Kerry, who has said that the US is prepared to work "hand in hand" with the Narendra Modi government, is to co-chair the fifth annual India-US Strategic Dialogue with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday.

Kerry, who arrived on a three-day visit on Wednesday at the head of a high-power delegation, is meeting National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the morning ahead of his meeting with Sushma Swaraj.

The US delegation comprises Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker as well as State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki. He will call on Prime Minister Modi on Friday.


US Secretary of State John Kerry. File Pic

On Wednesday evening, he met Indian business leaders ahead of his meeting with the top Indian officials.

This is the first cabinet-level meeting between the Barack Obama administration and the new Indian government that came to power on May 26.

Kerry, in a signed piece in the Economic Times on Wednesday, said that, "The long-standing partnership between the US and India is on the cusp of 'an historic transformation' and that the US will work 'hand in hand with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government' to power India's rise economically and strategically."

"India's rise will help the Indo-Pacific region become more stable, more prosperous and more free. The strategic choices India makes on how to grow its economy and promote regional security will directly impact Asia's growth and US interests," read the article.

"As President Barack Obama has observed, America's economy and security will increasingly be influenced by events in Asia. India's economic strength and business environment are, therefore, of strategic importance to both our countries."

"We are coming to India to deliver a single message: the US is prepared to be a full partner in this effort. We will work hand in hand with Modi and his government to promote open and liberal trade and investment, job training and closer strategic ties,a he said as he pushed for boosting economic and strategic ties with India", said the piece by Kerry and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

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