External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addressing the Atlantic Council event in Washington on Tuesday (Photo/ANI)
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addressing the Atlantic Council event in Washington on Tuesday (Photo/ANI)

I'm reasonably confident, we'll have a fix: Jaishankar on India-US trade package

By Reena Bhardwaj (ANI) | Updated: Oct 02, 2019 02:05 IST

Washington DC [USA], Oct 1 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said most of the issues related to trade between India and the United States have gone through multiple rounds of talks and assured that the two countries will have a fix on the dispute soon.
In a roundtable event organised by the Atlantic Council, a US-based think-tank, Jaishankar said that the foreign policy and priorities of the Modi government are in tune with the realities of a 'New India'.
"Tougher issues in the past have been resolved. So, I am reasonably confident. We will have a fix on the trade disputes (with the US)," Jaishankar told the audience during the engagement that took place on the second day of his maiden trip to Washington as the External Affairs Minister of India.
Prime Minister Modi's recently concluded visit to the US has generated a lot of commentary about the pros and cons of his external engagement, the minister said.
While his supporters have portrayed this visit as a grand victory for India, his critics have harped on the absence of a substantive outcome. Responding to a question at the roundtable, the minister also applauded the momentum between India and the US's strategic partnerships.
"I leave more confidence than ever before after my engagements over the last week," Jaishankar stressed.
When asked on the biggest obstacle between the two democracies, the External Affairs Minister said, "Both countries have habits and they are the hardest things to let go. We need to understand each other's sides and perspective and the need for comfort building. It's a process that doesn't happen overnight."
"The Indian economy has grown and the politics of the West has changed. So, the US is thinking beyond just the alliance sector," the minister said with confidence.
Addressing a question on US President's repeated offer to mediate between India and Pakistan, as well as the biased media coverage of Kashmir post-August 5 after the Indian government revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status, the minister said that the media is reacting because there has been a change in the status quo.
"Most of the media has no understanding of history and the background of Kashmir. Their understanding is very superficial. All that's being reported is simply a knee jerk reaction," Jaishankar said.
"The President doesn't consult me. Maybe he should!" the minister said jokingly.
During his three-day trip to Washington, the minister met the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Next official engagements for the diplomat will be meeting US Defence Secretary Mark Esper, the new National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien and acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan.
On October 2, the minister will be attending a reception to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the 90th birth anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr, pegged as a celebration of the legacies of the two great leaders.
Jaishankar is also scheduled to jointly address the Library of Congress with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who is second in line to the US presidency after the vice-president.
In addition, the minister also has a string of back-to-back public and private events lined up for the day in the US capital to talk about India's viewpoint on global issues. (ANI)

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