United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday said India and America stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism.
“In the last decade, the counter-terrorism cooperation between New Delhi and Washington has expanded significantly,” he said. “The two countries are cross-screening known and suspected terrorists. Later this year, we will convene a new dialogue on terrorist designations.”
Tillerson was delivering a speech on “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”, at an event organised by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a US think-tank. His comments come ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to India in November.
“This visit could not come at a more promising time for US-India relations and the US-India partnership,” Tillerson said, adding that he is looking forward to his first official trip to New Delhi next week. “We look forward to US-India ‘2 plus 2’ inaugural dialogue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump.”
President Trump and Prime Minister Modi are committed more than any other previous leaders to building an ambitious partnership,” Tillerson said. “The benefits are not only great to our democracies, but other sovereign nations working towards greater peace and stability.”
Tillerson said India and the US were the two bookends of stability in the world. He also said that India may become the second-largest economy by 2050.
“As we look to the next 100 years, it is vital that the Indo-Pacific continue to be free and open, in order to prevent it from becoming a region of disorder, conflict and predatory economics,” he added.
Tillerson said the announcement of the first-ever Global Entrepreneurship Summit to take place in South Asia, which will be held in Hyderabad in November, is a clear example of how President Trump and Modi are promoting innovation and expanding job opportunities. Donald Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump is expected to speak in a session at the three-day summit.
Pakistan should take action against the terrorist groups that are based within their borders and hurting their own people, the US secretary of state said.
Tillerson criticised China for its “provocative actions” in the South China Sea that have violated the international law and norms, that “US and India both stand for”. “China, while rising alongside India, has done so less responsibly,” Tillerson said.
Tillerson asked the Myanmar government to be restrained while handling the Rohingya crisis in Rakhine state. “We understand you have rebels and terrorists in that part, but you must be disciplined and restrained in dealing with them.” The Trump Cabinet official said they are waiting for access to the violence-hit region for a first-hand account.