Sat, 19 Sep 2020

Washington DC [USA], Aug 7 (ANI): US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday discussed the relationship between US and India to advance peace, prosperity and security in the Indo-Pacific. The two leaders also reiterated their cooperation to advance peace in Afghanistan and their commitment to fighting Covid-19.

"Great speaking with Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar about the US-India relationship and our work to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain united to advance peace in Afghanistan, and to a secure and sovereign Indo-Pacific in which all countries can prosper," Pompeo said after his call with Jaishankar.

Principal Deputy Spokesperson, US State Department Cale Brown in a statement said that both leaders agreed to continue close cooperation on a full range of regional and international issues and look forward to Quadrilateral consultations and the US-India 22 Ministerial Dialogue later this year.

Pompeo had recently said that US, Australia, India, and Japan had reinvigorated the "Quad" grouping. "We're proud to have stepped up maritime manoeuvres in that body of water alongside friends like Australia, India, Japan, and the UK," he said. He said all 10 ASEAN nations have insisted that the South China Sea disputes must be settled on the basis of international law, including UNCLOS.

Pompeo has been urging countries to push back against China, whose Chinese Communist Party (CCP) he said, rather than helping the world during this Covid crisis, is bullying its neighbours and militarizing features in the South China Sea.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar had over a recent video call discussed the start of the intra-Afghan talks.

Also Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, Mohammad Haneef Atmar met with Vinay Kumar, Indian Ambassador to Kabul, on Monday afternoon wherein the two sides deliberated importance of further strengthening regional consensuses on the Afghan peace process.

On February 29, the United States and the Taliban movement signed a peace deal in Qatar's capital city Doha for a gradual withdrawal of US troops and the beginning of intra-Afghan negotiations and prisoner exchanges.

The Taliban has announced a three-day cease-fire during Eid al-Adha last week, which was welcomed and reciprocated by the Afghan government. (ANI)

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