U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting at the Prime Minister’s Residence, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in New Delhi, India. Jacquelyn Martin/Pool via REUTERS
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday for talks on trade and defense issues that have strained ties between the countries. Just days before Pompeo’s visit, India slapped higher retaliatory tariffs on 28 U.S. products following Washington’s withdrawal of key trade privileges for New Delhi.
Indian broadcasters showed footage of Pompeo exchanging handshakes with Modi at the prime minister’s official residence in the capital New Delhi on Wednesday morning. Neither side released details of the meeting. India’s relations with Russia and Iran – both under U.S. sanctions – are also a sore point. Under U.S. pressure, India has stopped buying oil from Iran, one of its top suppliers. The United States has also stepped up pressure on India not to proceed with its purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia.
Pompeo is scheduled to have lunch with foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, followed by a news conference at 1400 local time (0930 GMT), the foreign ministry said. He is expected to round off the trip with a policy speech hosted by the U.S. Embassy on Wednesday evening, before departing on Thursday for the G20 summit in Japan.