Kerry Holds Security, Trade Talks in India

New Delhi, – US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in New Delhi on Monday night for the annual US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.

The US State Secretary and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker began two days of talks on Tuesday with the Indian government to boost business ties, and to encourage dialogue with Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir.

The situation in Indian-ruled Kashmir and concerns over Afghanistan will be raised in talks on Tuesday with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, and on Wednesday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a senior US official said.

A senior State Department official said Kerry will encourage dialogue between Pakistan and India during the discussions. “We have a long-standing policy of encouraging and advocating for great dialogue between the two countries on addressing areas of difference, and that continues to be our position,” a senior State Department official said.

“But we have also underscored that combating terrorism is a high priority for the United States in its bilateral relations with all of the countries in the region,” the official added. The situation in Afghanistan will also be discussed, the official said.

Kerry arrived from neighboring Bangladesh where he held talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on efforts to combat extremism following a recent series of deadly attacks.

Source: Qatar News Agency