New York: The US diplomat in charge of political affairs is visiting India for consultations with the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi, according to the State Department.
During her visit, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland will lead the US delegation to the annual foreign office consultations “which cover the full range of bilateral, regional, and global issues”, the Department said on Friday.
She is also scheduled to meet young tech leaders, it added.
Her visit to India will be a part of a week-long swing through Asia that starts on Saturday and take her also to Nepal, Sri Lanka and Qatar.
During her visit to Sri Lanka which will mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between that country and the US, she will convey Washington’s “support for Sri Lanka’s efforts to stabilize the economy, protect human rights, and promote reconciliation”, the Department said.
In Nepal, Nuland will engage with the new government of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal who took office last month on the broad agenda of the partnership between the two countries.
Qatar, which plays a pivotal role in international diplomacy relating to the Taliban regime, represents US interests in Afghanistan as Washington has not recognized the regime.
The Department said that there Nuland will discuss “our bilateral arrangement on the protection of US interests in Afghanistan”.
“Global issues under the framework of the US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue and that country’s critical support for the relocation of Afghans with ties to the US,” will also figure in her discussions with leaders there, it noted.
The foreign office consultations are an annual affair to review the entire range of cooperation between the two countries under the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, including political, economic, commercial, regional, and international cooperation.
The last such consultation was in March last year.
Although the US and India have been drawing closer together, New Delhi’s apparent neutrality in the Ukraine war and its continued purchase of oil from Russia remains a sticking point, although Washington’s diplomats gloss over it.
(Arul Louis can be contacted at email@example.com and followed at @arulouis)