NEW DELHI: US State Secretary Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and discussed ways to boost strategic ties between the two nations ahead of the meeting with President Donald Trump scheduled to be held later in the day.
Modi and Mattis’ discussions included a veiled reference to the South China Sea, over which China is laying an absolute claim. Without naming China, they emphasised the need of adhering to international laws, freedom of navigation and communication.
Addressing Tillerson, Modi claimed India expects to maintain good relations with neighbours.
“He said India wants its neighbours to progress like itself under his mantra of ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’ (cooperation of all, development of all),” MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.
Hours later, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, a key element behind the current unrest in Kashmir, was designated a global terrorist by Washington.
The Prime Minister addressed nearly 600 Indian Americans on Sunday and assured them that his government would strive to take the country to new heights.
“There are high expectations from the Modi-Trump meeting, especially against the backdrop of the uncertainty arising out of the Trump administration’s H1B visa policies, and racist attacks,” said Anil Sharma of the organisation ‘Overseas Volunteer for Better India.
Modi and Trump were expected to discuss ongoing cooperation between the nations early on Tuesday morning (Indian time).
Hizbul chief now global terrorist
The US on Monday designated Syed Salahuddin, head of Kashmiri militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, as a ‘specially designated global terrorist’. The move by the State Department came just hours before the first meeting between PM Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump at the White House