India's stand on global terrorism vindicated, says MEA after Modi's meeting with Tillerson, Mattis
Gopal Baglay shared the details of PM Modi's meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis. Photograph: (Twitter)
Hours ahead of his meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defence James Mattis called upon Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington on Monday.
The situation in Afghanistan, counter-terrorism and India's foreign policy formed the thrust of Modi's meeting with the two senior diplomats, India's Ministry of External Affairs said soon after the meeting.
Hours ahead of the meeting, the US Department of State designated Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin a global terrorist in a notification.
Asked for his comments, Gopal Baglay said, "It vindicates India's position that cross border terrorism is behind disturbances in Kashmir since last year. The outfits that Syed Salahuddin leads, they have perpetuated, from the territory of Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, cross border terrorism against India including in Kashmir for a number of years."
"It also underlines the fact that both India and US face threat of terrorism and are working together to counter this threat," the MEA added.
Syed Salahuddin is one of the most wanted terrorists in India.
The Ministry of External Affairs revealed that the Trump administration conveyed a strong desire to build upon the progress achieved between the two countries so far, specifically in strategic areas of counter-terrorism, defence co-operation, co-operation in the Indian Ocean region and science and technology.
"Secretary Mattis began by referring PM Modi's Opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal in which he writes about expanding partnership and taking it on an upward trajectory. There was a discussion on the situation in Indo-Pacific and Asia Pacific region. There was discussion on the situation in Afghanistan and what the two countries can do together. Both countries decided to remain in touch, co-operate and focus on the security situation in Afghanistan and on rebuilding Afghanistan," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.
"There was strong focus on terrorism and co-operation in counter-terrorism. It was very clear that given the challenges the two countries have faced and continue to face, the two sides touched upon the broad direction in which they can develop this cooperation.
There was a general discussion on global situation, situation in Asia and Indo-Pacific region and elsewhere. In discussion with US Secretary of State Tillerson, PM Modi conveyed that the fulcrum of India's foreign policy is to have good relations with all countries, particularly with our neighbours," the external affairs ministry added.
President Trump and US first lady Melania will receive PM Modi at the South Portico of the White House. The two leaders will spend four hours together which includes a discussion with their delegations in the Cabinet Room, a cocktail reception hosted by Vice-President Mike Pence followed by dinner at the White House.