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India welcomes Rex Tillerson’s call for deeper cooperation

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Tillerson will visit India next week and is expected to visit Islamabad to implement the South Asia strategy of President Donald Trump.

India welcomed US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement that Trump administration wants to deepen cooperation with India, on Friday.

“Secretary Tillerson has made a significant policy statement on India-US relations and its future,” said External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. “He brought out its various strengths and highlighted our shared commitment to a rule-based international order.”

Tillerson said while speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington that the US wants to deepen the cooperation with India to tackle the growing Chinese influence in Asia. He also termed India as a “partner” in a “strategic relationship.

Raveesh Kumar said India appreciated the positive evaluation of future directions adding that “we look forward to welcoming him in India next week for detailed discussions on further strengthening of our partnership.”

“The United States seeks constructive relations with China, but we will not shrink from China’s challenges to the rules-based order and where China subverts the sovereignty of neighboring countries and disadvantages the US and our friends,” Tillerson said.

“India and the United States should be in the business of equipping other countries to defend their sovereignty, build greater connectivity, and have a louder voice in a regional architecture that promotes their interests and develops their economies,” he added.

Sending a strong message to China, Tillerson said that the country challenged “the international law and norms that the United States and India both stand for”. Calling China “a non-democratic society,” he added that the US would never have the same relationship with the country.

Nisha Desai Biswal, a noted Indian-American expert on South Asia, said that Tillerson’s speech was very bold and robust vision that underscores the importance of the bilateral relationship between the US and India.

Tillerson will visit India next week and is expected to visit Islamabad to implement the South Asia strategy of President Donald Trump.