Trump admin has very positive view of Indo-US ties: Jaishankar

Washington, The Trump Administration has a “very positive view” of the Indo-US relationship and a lot of interest in taking the ties forward, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said today after his wide-ranging talks with senior Cabinet members and top officials here.

“Optimistic” about the continuation of the upward trajectory of the bilateral relationship, Jaishankar told Indian reporters here that the India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, which was started under the previous Obama administration, would be held later this year.

Dates were being worked out for the India visit of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to hold the first India US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue under the Trump administration.

“Overall, (the) sense was that the Administration has a very positive view of the relationship, positive view of India,” said Jaishankar, who along with Commerce Secretary Rita Teotia, is on a visit here to engage with the new Trump administration.

“We saw a lot of goodwill and a lot of interest in taking the relationship forward,” he said.

Jaishankar, during his visit, held a number of key meetings here, including with Secretary of State Tillerson, Commerce Secretary Ross, Secretary of Homeland Security Gen (retd) John Kelly, National Security Advisor R McMaster, and Deputy Assistant to the President, Ken Juster.

The visiting Indian officials, accompanied by the Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Sarna, also met the top leadership of the US Congress, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and his House counterpart Congressman Ed Royce.

They also met Senator Mark Warner, Co-Chair of the Senate India caucus, and Co-Chairs of India Caucus in the House Congressman George Holding and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Jaishankar and Teotia, during their visit, interacted with US businesses through the US India Business Council.

“The (US) Congress has been extraordinarily supportive of the growth of this relationship. Since there has been a change in the political landscape, we thought engaging them was something which was important,” Jaishankar said.

“Broadly with the (US) administration, we explained to them the progress that the India US relation has made in the last many years. So it was a full spectrum (of) discussions,” he said. .