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Kerry meets Modi, says Obama keen on productive Washington summit

New Delhi, Aug 1 (IANS) US Secretary of State John Kerry called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here Friday and conveyed that President Barack Obama attaches great priority to relations with India and looks forward to a productive and fruitful summit in September in Washington.

Kerry, along with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, held an hour-long meeting with Modi at the prime minister’s 7, Race Course Road official residence. The meeting was held a day after he met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for the 5th India-US Strategic Dialogue

The two visiting secretaries briefed Prime Minister Modi on the India-US Strategic Dialogue; conveyed that President Obama attached great priority to relations with India, both for bilateral cooperation and global partnership, and looks forward to a productive and fruitful Summit in September in Washington to set an ambitious new agenda to chart a new course in the relationship, said an official statement.

Modi said that there was broad convergence of views and interests between the two countries.

He outlined his vision for India and for the partnership between the world’s two largest democracies in addressing global challenges, promoting peace and stability in the world and supporting India`s own economic transformation.

Modi also highlighted the opportunities for partnership in trade, investment, clean energy, innovation, education, skill development, agro-processing, youth empowerment, among others, the statement said.

The prime minister also emphasized the need for developed countries to understand the challenges of poverty in developing countries and their governments’ responsibilities in addressing them, when discussions take place in international fora.

He discussed the regional situation, including India’s engagement in the Asia Pacific region; the commitment to bring South Asia together in a united effort to promote regional economic development; India`s commitment to continue its support to Afghanistan; and, the need to confront terrorism on the principles of “zero tolerance” for terrorism and eschewing a selective approach to terrorism, said the statement.

Modi thanked Kerry and Pritzker for visiting India, although it was the US’ turn to host the Strategic Dialogue; conveyed his appreciation for President Obama’s thoughtful and detailed letter; and, asked both sides to prepare for concrete outcomes during the Summit to take the relationship to an entirely new level, on the basis of vision, strategy and action plan, the statement said.

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