Published: Fri, June 29, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

U.S. envoy Nikki Haley meets Sushma Swaraj

U.S. envoy Nikki Haley meets Sushma Swaraj

A day after the U.S. put off crucial dialogue with India scheduled in Washington next week citing "unavoidable reasons", Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nation, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi "knows exactly why" and the reason had nothing to do with India.

The US envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who is on a 2-day maiden visit to India flaunted her Indian connection while addressing media on Thursday. "We are communicating this message to Pakistan more strongly than in the past and we hope to see changes".

After visiting the Jama Masjid, she interacted with a child who was sitting outside the mosque.

"We see those opportunities between the United States and India in a multiple level of ways".

India last week announced a plan to raise tariffs on 29 USA imports in retaliation for the US decision to include India in its list of countries covered by higher steel and aluminium duties. "This makes China's expansion of loans and investments in countries in the region a matter of concern for many of us".

"In many instances, Pakistan has been a partner with us, and we value and respect that". Both share goals of security, free navigation, free trade and fighting militants in the Indo-Pacific region.

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"I think as a friend, India should also decide is this a country that they want to continue doing business with".

Haley also said that U.S. president Donald Trump believes in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision about "a free and open Indo-pacific region", an issue he had spoken about at the Shangri-la dialogue.

They dismissed theories that it was USA concern over Iran (and India's oil purchases from that country), the purchase of S-400 missiles from Moscow, or bilateral trade issues that resulted in the deferment.

Washington has stepped up pressure on major Iranian customers to stop importing its oil, warning no trading partner will be exempt from new economic sanctions when they bite from November 4. With India setting in a motion a "course correction" in ties with China with Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelling to Wuhan on 27 April, it seemed unlikely that India would be willing to play any role that would upset China.

Following Washington's withdrawal from the Iran deal, India said it would comply with the United Nations sanctions and not any country-specific sanctions.

Haley's visit to the religious places including the Central Baptist Church followed her statement, "freedom of religion was as important as freedom of people". She had kick-started her India tour after visiting the tomb of Mughal emperor Humayun.

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