Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokahle meets US Under Secretary of State David Hale

Updated: Mar 13, 2019, 10:05 IST | ANI

The two officials held Foreign Office Consultations to review the progress made since the Ministerial 2+2 meeting and discussed ways to further expand cooperation

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokahle meets US Under Secretary of State David Hale
India's Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale. Pic/PTI

Washington D.C: Foreign Secretar and the United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, David Hale on Tuesday held Foreign Office Consultations and reaffirmed their commitment to the Indo-US Strategic Partnership.

The two officials held Foreign Office Consultations to review the progress made since the Ministerial 2+2 meeting and discussed ways to further expand cooperation.

Furthermore, the two officials exchanged views on building convergences in the Indo-Pacific and agreed to work with each other and regional partners to promote inclusivity, stability, peace and prosperity in the region.

Both sides also called on Pakistan to meaningfully address the concerns of the international community on terrorism, including cross-border terrorism. Foreign Secretary invited Under Secretary Hale to visit New Delhi for the next round of consultations. On Monday, Gokhale also met US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo.

Pompeo reaffirmed US support to India in its fight against terrorism. The two officials discussed the importance of bringing those responsible for the Pulwama terror attack to justice and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil.

The two officials also discussed Washington⿿s complementary visions for the Indo-Pacific, US-India defence cooperation and the growing US-India economic partnership, including joint efforts to expand bilateral trade in a balanced and reciprocal manner.

According to a statement released by the Indian Embassy in Washington, Pompeo expressed his understanding of India's concerns regarding cross -border terrorism. "They (US) agreed that Pakistan needs to take concerted action to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure and to deny safe haven to all terrorist groups in its territory," said the statement.

"They also agreed that those who support or abet terrorism in any form should be held accountable," added the statement. It is worth noting that Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber attacked CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14 in which 40 jawans were killed. In retaliation, Indian Air Force (IAF) targeted JeM's largest training centre at Balakot in Pakistan on February 26 wee hours.

Gokhale also expressed satisfaction over the significant progress and the quality of India-USÂ Strategic Partnership since Secretary Pompeo's visit to India in September last year for the first-ever Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue, the statement said. Gokhale and Pompeo also discussed other issues of mutual interest including Afghanistan and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and agreed to closely work together in this regard.

In response to Pompeo's reference to bilateral trade matters, Gokhale underscored the significant reduction in the trade deficit in the last three years and conveyed India's willingness to remain engaged with the US for a meaningful and mutually acceptable package on trade issues.

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