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India Front Line Report
SEAnews Issue:monthly
2017-10-16 ArtNo.46078
◆Tillerson may visit India, Pak together

【New Delhi】The US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, may visit New Delhi later this month – along with his tour to Islamabad.
 External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is keen to host the US Secretary of State to keep up the momentum of engagements with the American President Donald Trump's administration in Washington. What however has put New Delhi at unease is the proposal for clubbing Tillerson's visits to India and Pakistan. New Delhi conveyed to Washington DC that it would prefer a standalone visit by US Secretary of State to India, although it might not insist much on this, sources told the DH.
 James Mattis, US Secretary of Defence, came on a standalone visit to New Delhi last month. He was the first member of Trump's Cabinet to visit India. Mattis, according to the sources, told his counterpart Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that he had not clubbed his visit to New Delhi with one to Islamabad in order to underline the importance that Trump Administration had attached to US-India relations.
 Tillerson is likely to visit Islamabad later this month to meet Pakistani Foreign Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif. His is going to be the first high-level visit from Washington to Islamabad after Trump's new policy on Afghanistan and rest of South Asia upset Pakistan. Trump on August 22 unveiled his new policy for South Asia.

○Hope India-US defence ties conducive to regional peace: China

【Beijing】China hopes that the military cooperation between India and the US will be conducive to regional peace and stability and not the opposite, Chinese Defence Ministry said on the 28th September.
 Asked about India and the US firming up close defence ties during the recent visit of US Defence Secretary James Mattis, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Col Wu Qian said China has noted the reports in this regard. Mattis visited India from September 26-27 and held high- level bilateral talks. "We hope that the military cooperation between India and the US will be conducive to regional peace and stability but not the opposite," he said.
 The US has offered to jointly manufacture F-16 fighter jets and has approved the sale of Guardian drones to India for long surveillance missions in the Indian Ocean where Chinese ships and submarines are increasing their presence. Both India and the US also announced close cooperation in the Indo-Pacific regions.
 Meanwhile, an article in the state-run Global Times today said peace is paramount for the growth of China-India ties. "China-India ties are intertwined in strategic competition due to geographic factor and national strength," the article said, advocating restraint between the two in handling their rivalry.

○Nepal wants to be a bridge between India, China: Deputy PM Gopal Man Shrestha

【Kathmandu】Nepal wants to become a bridge between India and China and contribute towards maintaining peace and stability in the entire South Asia region, Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Gopal Man Shrestha has said amidst Beijing’s efforts to step up its influence in the country.
 Shrestha, whose Nepali Congress party won most of the seats in a Madhesi-dominated province during the just concluded local polls in the country, expressed hope that his party would become the largest party in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections. The elections for provinces and the federal assembly or Parliament will be held as per schedule, said Shrestha, who is also the education minister of the country.
 “The government is making all preparations for the upcoming provincial election on November 26 and Parliamentary elections on December 5,” Shrestha told PTI.

【News source】

Tillerson may visit India, Pak together

Hope India-US defence ties conducive to regional peace: China

Nepal wants to be a bridge between India, China: Deputy PM Gopal Man Shrestha

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