Kerry may visit India to boost bilateral ties

US Secretary of State John F Kerry may visit India in the next few months to jointly chair the third round of the bilateral strategic dialogue with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. 

Khurshid told Kerry that he was looking forward to the secretary of state’s visit to India for the third annual India-US strategic dialogue, which is likely to be held sometime during the middle of the year.

Kerry, who succeeded Hillary Clinton and took office on Monday, called Khurshid to thank him for the congratulatory letter. Khurshid, who is currently on a tour to Latin America, received the call in Santiago, the capital of Chile.

Khurshid congratulated Kerry on his appointment as the new US Secretary of State. He told Kerry that he was aware of the secretary of state’s “enormous talent in handling of South Asia related matters in the recent years.” Kerry’s appointment triggered some concerns in New Delhi due to his purportedly soft stance towards Pakistan. Testifying before the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee recently, he opposed a suggestion to cut US aid to Pakistan.  He also said Pakistan had not been given enough credit for its assistance in the operation against al-Qaeda chief Osama-bin-Laden in Abbottabad, about 120 km from Islamabad.

Khurshid, however, told Kerry that he looked forward to working with him to take forward the India-US relationship, which was at a historically unprecedented height, to a further higher level encompassing diverse sectors. He also recounted Kerry’s significant contribution in furthering India-US relationship.

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