US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday, ahead of his visit here next week, outlined Washington’s India policy by asserting that the Donald Trump administration was “determined to dramatically deepen” ties with India amid hopes that Islamabad acts decisively against terror. Tillerson made the remark in a speech at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank. Tillerson started off the proceedings by saying, “Let me begin by wishing everyone a very happy Diwali.” Thereafter, he went on to explain the US stance on a number of policy initiatives. Tillerson juxtaposed the rise of India and its bigger neighbour and said, “China, while rising alongside India, has done so less responsibly.” Elaborating further on the issue, he added, “Need to collaborate with India to ensure that Indo-Pacific is region of peace and stability.” On the common ground that US and India have on freedom of seas, Tillerson said, “China’s provocative actions in South China Sea directly challenge the international law and norms that US and India both stand for.” Indicating the positive nature of the India-US relationship, Tillerson said “I do look forward to returning to Delhi next week, first time in my official capacity. This visit could not come at a more promising time for US-India relationship.” He called on India to fully embrace the “potential as a leading player in the international security arena”, adding that the US expects Pakistan to take “decisive action against terrorist groups” based within its borders.
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