Narendra Modi

Pompeo meets PM Modi for talks on trade, defense

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday for discussions on trade and defense problems that have strained bonds between the countries. 

Just days before Pompeo’s visit, India slapped greater retaliatory tariffs on 28 U.S. products following Washington’s withdrawal of key trade privileges for New Delhi. 

Indian broadcasters exposed footage of Pompeo exchanging handshakes with Modi at the prime minister’s official residence in the capital New Delhi on Wednesday morning. Neither side launched details of the meeting. 

India’s relations with Russia and Iran – both under U.S. sanctions – are also a sore point. 

Under U.S. pressure, India has quit buying oil from Iran, one of its top suppliers. The United States has also stepped up pressure on India not to continue with its purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia. 

Pompeo is planned to have lunch with foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, followed by a news conference at 1400 local time (0930 GMT), the foreign ministry said. 

He is supposed to round off the trip with a policy speech hosted by the U.S. Embassy on Wednesday evening, before departing on Thursday for the G20 summit in Japan. 

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