Terror Tops Modi-Tillerson Talks

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US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson calls on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington DC, USA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ahead of his crucial meeting with US President Donald Trump and discussed in detail about the menace of terrorism and ways to tackle it and cooperation in counter-terrorism….reports Asian Lite News

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US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson calls on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington DC, USA

The global fight against terrorism and the situation in Afghanistan figured prominently when US Defence Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here in Washington ahead of his summit-level meeting with President Donald Trump.

“There was strong focus on terrorism and cooperation in counter-terrorism in the meeting with Tillerson,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said while briefing the media here.

“Given the challenges the two countries have faced, the discussions in the meeting touched upon how the two countries have cooperated in countering terrorism and where in the broad direction they can develop it further,” Baglay said.

He said that the entire world was looking at India-US ties and this partnership had been described as a “defining partnership”.

The situation in the Indo-Pacific and Asia-Pacific regions was also discussed by Modi and Tillerson.

According to Baglay, Modi said that the fulcrum of India’s foreign policy was to have good relations with all countries, especially with the neighbours.

Speaking of the Prime Minister’s desire of walking side by side with the US, the spokesperson said that Modi discussed the counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan in the meeting with Mattis.

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US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis calls on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington DC, USA

In the meeting, it was mentioned that the US and India — the world’s two largest democracies — believed in respect for international laws, a rule-based order and freedom of navigation and uninterrupted communication.

On being asked about Monday’s US State Department’s notification that declared Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist, Baglay said that this was merely a courtesy meeting and not a detailed one where such issues could be discussed.

Defence and counter-terrorism issues are likely to be among the major topics to be discussed during the Modi-Trump meeting.

The Prime Minister is to meet President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the White House on Monday afternoon. The leaders will address the media from the Rose Garden.

On Sunday, in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, Modi said that defence was a mutually beneficial sphere of the Indo-US partnership.

“We are already working together to address the existing and emerging strategic and security challenges that affect both our nations — in Afghanistan, West Asia, the large maritime space of the Indo-Pacific, the new and unanticipated threats in cyberspace,” he said in the article.