US Secretary to discuss economy, joint efforts against terrorism during Pakistan visit

PM Modi cannot pursue peace with Pak at cost of his own security US official

PM Modi cannot pursue peace with Pak at cost of his own security US official

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has outlined a stronger strategic role for India, is visiting New Delhi, the State Department announced on Thursday.

Last month, Defence Secretary James Mattis visited New Delhi and met Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Tillerson made an unsuccessful attempt to resolve the Gulf dispute during a trip to the region in July.

Tillerson's other stops include Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two U.S. allies involved in a diplomatic and economic standoff.

US President Donald Trump, after initially appearing to support the effort to isolate Qatar, has called for mediation and recently predicted a rapid end to the crisis. He will begin his visit from Oct 20 from Saudi Arabia where he will take part in the inaugural Coordination Council meeting between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

A State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told a briefing in Washington the visit is part of Secretary Tillerson's first visit to Asia.

Trump has stepped up pressure on the Pakistani authorities and military, which have been accused of being too soft on the Taliban.

Ahead of his trip, Tillerson said on Wednesday the U.S. wanted to "dramatically deepen" ties with India and develop it into one of the democratic anchors of security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region to counter China, which "challenges to the rules-based order" and "subverts the sovereignty of neighbouring countries and disadvantages the United States and our friends".

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