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“It is not right in God’s sight to obey men rather than God.”

US support Modi vision ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ ahead of Kerry’s visit

NEW DELHI: Seeking to seize transformative moment in ties with India, US Secretary of State John Kerry will arrive on Wednesday for talks on key issues with the new leadership in the national capital.

The US will seek to establish top level contact with the new Indian government as Kerry arrives on a visit that is expected to lay the groundwork for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-awaited September visit to the US.

Kerry’s visit is aimed at instilling some vigour into the bilateral ties, which appeared to have lost momentum in the final years of UPA regime.

During his three-day visit, Kerry will co-chair the fifth India-US Strategic Dialogue on July 31 along with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on crucial issues of Strategic Cooperation; Energy and Climate Change, Education and Development; Economy, Trade and Agriculture; Science and Technology, Health and Innovation.

Ahead of his visit here, Kerry in Washington said, “This is a potentially transformative moment in our partnership with India, and we’re determined to deliver on the strategic and historic opportunities that we can create together” and added that “The US and India can and should be indispensable partners for the 21st century.”

He will call on Modi, who has been invited by American President Barack Obama for a meeting in Washington in September. India-US ties hit a low at the end of last year after senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade was arrested in New York, strip-searched and charged with visa fraud for allegedly underpaying her babysitter.

Kerry is also expected to visit Bangalore and will also be joined by the Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, who will be visiting Mumbai prior to participating in the Strategic Dialogue.

The US Secretary of State will be accompanied by a high- level inter-agency delegation and apart from Pritzker, the delegation includes Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy Daniel Poneman, Under Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Francis X Taylor and the US Special Envoy for Climate Change in the Department of State Todd Stern.

Ahead of visiting India, Kerry, in a major speech, stressed that the US and India have the potential to become indispensable partners for the 21st century and said Washington wants to support the Modi government’s vision of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ (together with all, development for all).

Kerry in his address at the Centre for American Progress (CAP), a major US think-tank, said Monday evening that he would be ‘emphasising the opportunities’ in which the US and India can become indispensable partners when he touches base with the new Indian government.