On June 12, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo delivered remarks at the India Ideas Summit and 44th annual meeting of the U.S.-India Business Council in Washington, DC. The Secretary’s participation in this event comes as he prepares to make his second trip to India as Secretary of State to meet with Prime Minister Modi and his new counterpart, Minister for External Affairs Jaishankar.
Secretary Pompeo underscored the importance of the longstanding U.S.-India partnership emphasized the unique opportunity he sees for our two nations have to move forward together, for the good of our peoples, the Indo-Pacific region, and the world.
The Secretary noted that U.S. Presidents of both parties have seized the opportunity to forge closer bonds with India and President Trump has continued this important effort. He stated, “Under President Trump, we’ve taken our defense cooperation to new heights, solidified our common vision for the Indo-Pacific, and taken a far tougher stand on Pakistan’s unacceptable support for terrorism in the region.“
Following India’s recent national election, which designated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a second term, the Secretary stated that the United States and India have a unique opportunity to take our special partnership further. The Secretary affirmed that both of our nations want to cultivate warmer relations and outlined three ways we can move ahead.
Building Ever-Stronger Relationships
U.S. diplomats have long had bonds with India. But the Secretary urged that to forge even stronger ties we need to formalize these relationships. We’ve aimed to accomplish this through efforts like the U.S.-India 2+2 dialogue alongside the Department of Defense as well as by reinvigorating the Quad Dialogue among India, the United States, Japan, and Australia – all like-minded democracies in the Indo-Pacific.
Embracing Our Strategic Frameworks
The Secretary stressed that we must embrace the strategic framework that works for both our nations. Recognizing that India is a sovereign power, with its own unique politics and strategic challenges, the Secretary underscored the importance of our shared vision for the Indo-Pacific. This shared vision, the Secretary outlined, is “One of economic openness. One of liberty and sovereignty. One in which economic growth reinforces democratic values, not dictatorship. One of partnership, not domination.”
Delivering on our Ideas and Opportunities
The Trump administration has made solid achievements that have enabled American companies to export more high-technology items to India and launched the Asia-EDGE program, to help India raise private capital to meet its energy security and access needs. Despite these achievements, the Secretary made clear that we must continue to deliver on our ideas and opportunities. Given our overlapping interests in defense, energy, and space, he emphasized, there is room to do more.
The Secretary made clear that the United States remains open to dialogue on trade issues, efforts to ensure the free flow of data across borders, and is eager to help India establish secure communications networks – including 5G networks.
As he concluded, the Secretary said, “Let’s work to finally fulfill the great promise of cooperation that was so evident at India’s birth – and which remains evident today.” He added, “I’m looking forward to exploring what’s possible between our peoples.”
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