Fortifying ties with India is our priority: US Secretary of State John Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry.
US Secretary of State John Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry on August 31 said, “Boosting relations between India and the US was our top priority. The United States (US) and India should keep faith in democratic values and respect peoples’ rights. The philosophies of India and the US are responsible for furthering our relations.”

Earlier, Kerry got delayed by an hour to reach the venue, thanks to the heavy downpour. He also cancelled his visit to three religious sites after the clouds opened up in Delhi on August 31 morning.

“I do not know how you guys got here. You must have come by boats,” he told the students as soon as he began his address at the Townhall at IIT Delhi. Kerry, who is visiting India on a two-day trip, also tasted Delhi’s infamous traffic jams when he arrived in Delhi on August 30.

Kerry is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi later on August 31. The agenda will focus on Kerry pushing for a rise to $ 500 billion in military cooperation and trade between India and the US.

He met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on August 30 and spoke against Pakistan and terrorism. He said that the US stood steadfastly behind India and that it was the time to take action taken against Mumbai and Pathankot air base attackers. “The US will continue to support all efforts to bring the perpetrators of 26/11 and Pathankot attacks to justice,” John Kerry said in a joint statement with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Meanwhile, in his daily press briefing, US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said the United States sees Indian presence in Asia-Pacific region as vital especially in the wake of China’s disputes with South China Sea region.