Thu, 14 Nov 2019

New Delhi, [India], June 25, (ANI): In the first high-level engagement between India and the US after the NDA's return to power for the second term, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will meet External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday when issues pertaining to data localisation, market access and trade are expected to come up.

The meeting between Jaishankar and Pompeo is being seen as an opportunity for both the leaders to get to know each other better. The two will set the stage for the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump at the sidelines of G20 Summit in Osaka.

Diplomatic sources said the US has raised the issue of data localisation with India but the policy in this regard was still evolving. They said that e-commerce bill and the personal data protection bill were at a draft stage and the RBI norms were to do with payments-related data.

On the issue of market access, the sources said that at India's level of economic attainment, there is bound to be differences with the US, which is a developed country. The US is keen that India opens up multi-brand retail.

The issue of terrorism is also expected to come up during the talks.

The three-day visit of Pompeo comes amidst rising tensions between the US and Iran over fresh sanctions imposed on Tehran, an issue which will be discussed between the two sides on Wednesday.

Following fresh US sanctions, Indian oil companies are also facing a tough time and many have reportedly stopped importing oil from Iran. Government sources, however, say that India will take any decision on the issue keeping its energy security and national interest in mind.

Diplomatic sources said there is no structured agenda and New Delhi is expected to urge for de-escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran. They said there could be a discussion on the situation in the Persian Gulf region, which has a big Indian diaspora. (ANI)

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