NEW DELHI: The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, would reach here on Wednesday for a three-day visit, during which he would co-chair the strategic dialogue between the two countries and prepare the ground for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington in September.
Kerry would lead a high-level delegation, comprising Deputy Secretary (Dept of Energy) Daniel Poneman, Under Secretary (Dept of Homeland Security) Francis X Tayor, and the US Special Envoy for Climate Change, Todd Stern.
The US Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, is expected to join Kerry for the strategic dialogue here after his Mumbai visit. The strategic dialogue would be held at the Ministry of External Affair’s Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan on July 31. Kerry would also meet the PM.
Despite a whirlwind shuttle diplomacy across West Asian capitals to find an acceptable ceasefire document, Kerry had returned to Washington to deliver an important speech on India at a think-tank, where he tried to woo the Modi Government by proclaiming the BJP’s campaign slogan, “Sabka Vikas Sabka Saath”.
“This is potentially a transformative moment in our partnership with India and we are determined to deliver on the strategic and historic opportunities that we can create together,” he had said.
While praising the Modi Government, he also listed the US’s priorities -- limiting subsidies, allowing greater capital flows and stronger intellectual property rights regime.
He also praised the Indian Prime Minister for inviting his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony, which he described as the first step towards improving relations between the two neighbours
Kerry also referred to the Trade Facilitation Agreement in the World Trade Organisation that India had refused to join, inviting sharp rebuke from the US.
“India’s willingness to support a rules-based trading order and fulfil its obligations will help the country attract greater investment from the US and elsewhere around the world,” he said.
Kerry is also expected to visit Bangalore.
Following his visit, the US Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel, is set reach here to cement further the ties between the two countries.