Rex Tillerson’s successor to take India-US talks forward

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NEW DELHI: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who was removed by President Donald Trump on Tuesday will be best remembered in India for his speech last October when he described China as an irresponsible power in comparison to India.

In the same speech delivered ahead of his trip to India, he asked Pakistan to take “decisive action against terrorist groups” based within its borders. Tillerson along with US Defence Secretary James Mattis were earlier scheduled to hold first 2 + 2 (Foreign & Defence Minister format) dialogue with Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman in Washington around April 18-19. But there is no word yet as whether his successor Mike Pompeo will go ahead with the dialogue around that time period.

In that speech delivered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Tillerson outlined Washington’s India policy by asserting that the Donald Trump administration was “determined to dramatically deepen” ties with India.

Tillerson juxtaposed the rise of India and its bigger neighbour and said, “China, while rising alongside India, has done so less responsibly.” Elaborating further on the issue, he added, “Need to collaborate with India to ensure that Indo-Pacific is region of peace and stability.”

After his meeting with Swaraj in Delhi, Tillerson assured India of full support in the fight against terrorism while teaming up with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to demand that Pakistan immediately neutralise terrorist organisations and terrorist safe havens on its soil. China’s aggressive foreign policy also figured prominently in Swaraj-Tillerson dialogue.

Source: Economic Times