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Mike Pompeo’s India visit: Will try to find common ground on trade issues with US, says foreign minister S Jaishankar

Gandhinagar: India will try to find common ground on trade issues during discussions with visiting US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in Gandhinagar Tuesday.

Terrorism, Afghanistan, the India-Pacific, Iran, trade issues, and growing bilateral defence ties will be the focus of discussions between the Indian government and Pompeo on Wednesday.

“We will be meeeting with a positive attitude,” Jaishankar told reporters after filing his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha poll from Gujarat.

“The meeting with Mike Pompeo will be an important one. A minister from the US is visiting India for the first time after the general elections. We will definitely discuss issues related to trade between the two countries,” Jaishankar said, addressing a press conference at the Gujarat BJP office.

“Both the countries have their interests. And it is natural to have some conflicts because of that. We will find a common ground using diplomacy. We will hold discussions with the US with a positive approach,” he said.

Asked about India’s stand in the backdrop of US-Iran tensions, Jaishankar it will be guided by national interest.

“There are many international issues of a difficult nature, and US-Iran issue is one such issue. We have relations with the US and also with Iran. We have relations with other countries of the region too” he said.

“What I can say is that we will be guided by what is in our national interest. That will be the yardstick” he said.

On India’s policy towards China, the bureaucrat-turned-politician said the relations between the two countries have stabilised after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping last year in China.

The Chinese president may visit India this year, he added.

“It is natural that policy changes with the change in situation. Our PM met Chinese President in Wuhan last year. That meeting brought stability in our relations. We expect the Chinese President to visit India this year. Talks will continue to resolve other issues (between India and China), Jaishankar said.

“Even I have planned a visit to China but the date is not fixed yet,” the minister said.

Jaishankar also expressed gratitude to the people of Gujarat, saying the community helped him in some or other way during his service as a diplomat.

“It is a matter of pride to be associated with Gujarat. I always had relations with Gujarat in one way or the other. I received support of the Gujarati community during my service abroad.

“Gujarat is a global state and you will find Gujarati community in every corner of the world,” said Jaishankar, who is all set to be elected to Rajya Sabha from the state.

BJP has nominated Jaishankar and OBC leader Jugalji Thakor, for the Rajya Sabha bypoll from Gujarat, scheduled on 5 July.

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