Washington: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar has met with US National Security Adviser Susan Rice and discussed a wide range of bilateral issues including cooperation on climate change, trade and defense.

S Jaishankar met US NSA. Agencies

S Jaishankar met US NSA. Agencies

“Rice and Jaishankar affirmed their commitment to deepening bilateral cooperation on climate change, trade, and defense,” spokesman of the National Security Council of the White House Ned Price said on Wednesday.

They also discussed critical follow-on to the Paris Agreement, progress in civil-nuclear cooperation, ongoing support for India’s membership in the multilateral export control regimes, next steps in the Global Health Security Agenda, and opportunities for expanded security and counter-terrorism cooperation, Price said in a statement.

The Indian Foreign Secretary is on a visit to Washington and expected to meet the Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken today.

The visit of the foreign secretary comes wherein speculation is rife that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit the United States in early June. However, there has been no official word from either New Delhi or the White House in this regard.

Last week, a bipartisan group of four powerful American lawmakers in a letter urged Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan to invite Modi to address a joint meeting of the US Congress during his visit to Washington which according to them is expected to be on 7 and 8 June.

“The visit will represent Prime Minister Modi’s fourth trip to the United States in two years, highlighting the robust nature of US-India relations. The number of reciprocal visits by the two leaders is unprecedented and hopefully portends the beginning of a new norm in the bilateral relationship,” said Ronak D Desai, a fellow at New America and an affiliate at the Belfer Center’s India and South Asia Program at Harvard University.

“Prime Minister Modi’s trip to the United States is an opportunity for the two countries to continue focusing on those areas of mutual convergence, include defense, energy cooperation, and disaster management. At the same time, it should allow both leaders to frankly address ongoing irritants in the relationship and ensure these challenges do not fundamentally undermine the strategic logic underlying the US-India partnership,” Desai said.

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Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar meets US NSA, discusses bilateral issues