The US permanent representative to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who is one of US President Donald Trump’s trusted aides, is coming to India on a bilateral visit next week. She is likely to meet officials in the Ministry of External Affairs, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, apart from at least one public engagement at a think-tank on June 27. She may also call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Haley’s visit comes amid differences between India and the US on two issues – US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and impending sanctions on defence deals with Russia.
Sources said the “bilateral visit is taking place” as was scheduled, ahead of the 2+2 talks between foreign and defence ministers from India and their American counterparts on July 6 in Washington DC. “Haley’s visit will tackle global issues, and the Trump administration’s pullout from the JCPOA is expected to figure during her discussions with Indian officials,” sources said.
South Block has been monitoring US moves in the last one year, which has added to the unpredictability in the international environment.
The US has pulled out of the nuclear deal (or JCPOA) between the P-5+1 and Iran, while the Europeans, Chinese and Russians have stayed on.
Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met in Singapore on June 12, the first meeting between the leaders of the two countries, where they discussed denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. The US Congress is working on sanctions on Russia under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which affects Indian defence purchases from its strongest defence partner.
The chemical attack in Salisbury has sharply escalated Russian-western tensions, and led to expulsion of each other’s diplomats. All these events and decisions have been followed up with Modi’s summits in Wuhan and Sochi.
In the wake of such changes in approach, the US administration’s top official is visiting India to gauge a sense of Delhi’s approach on all these issues, and also convey Trump’s message.
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