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Kerry reaffirms commitment to US-India strategic dialogue

Posted on Feb 07, 09:57AM | IANS

Washington, Feb 7 : The new US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid have expressed their commitment to continuing and strengthening the US-India strategic dialogue mechanism.

In a phone call Tuesday with Khurshid, the two underscored the vital importance of the US-Indian relationship, "and cooperating closely not only on bilateral issues but on regional issues and on global issues that we work on together", State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters Wednesday.

"They also both expressed their commitment to continuing and strengthening the US-India Strategic Dialogue mechanism," she said noting that this has become the regular mechanism of bringing officials across the two governments together every year.

Launched in 2010 by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then external affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, it is the highest-level, regularly scheduled bilateral exchange between the two counties. The third dialogue in the series was held last June 13 in Washington.

Kerry, Nuland said also thanked Khurshid for India's continued assistance to Afghanistan and affirmed the US desire to continue collaborating with India on regional issues.

Asked if Kerry would be travelling to New Delhi for the next round of India-US Strategic Dialogue scheduled for June, the spokesperson said she didn't have any travel plans for now but "obviously, there will be a good relationship, they'll see each other".

"I cannot imagine that during the time he's Secretary of State, he will never go to India. I think we will figure it out," Nuland said.