New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is likely to have a brief meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Thursday, on the first day of the two-day 9th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, sources told ThePrint.
Although both Jaishankar and Pompeo have met before, this meeting will assume importance as this is set to be their first one after US President Donald Trump’s remarks on the US being ready to “mediate” between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.
Jaishankar is visiting Bangkok to attend the East Asia Summit, the 26th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and 10th Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Ministerial Meeting, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement Wednesday.
Last week, during Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the US, Trump had stated in a joint press conference that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sought his mediation in resolving the long-standing Kashmir issue when both leaders had met on the sidelines of the G20 Meeting in Osaka, Japan, in June.
Modi’s upcoming US visit
The Jaishankar-Pompeo meeting is also set to happen at a time when the two countries are preparing for PM Modi’s visit to the US in September for the United Nations General Assembly. Modi will be meeting Trump on the sidelines. He is also expected to address a mega gathering of the Indian diaspora in Houston, Texas, on 22 September, called ‘Howdy, Modi!’
At the same time, the countries will also be holding the second round of the ‘2+2’ Ministerial Meeting, featuring India’s external affairs and defence ministers and their American counterparts.
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal is also expected to visit the US in the coming weeks to meet US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
Last meeting in June
The last Jaishankar-Pompeo meeting took place in June, on the latter’s visit to New Delhi, with both sides discussing all issues related to bilateral ties.
The US and India are currently engaged in a bitter trade tiff, as both sides have imposed tariffs on each other’s shipments. In June, the US had also withdrawn trade benefits given to India under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme.