U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to the Indo-Pacific region later this month, making stops in India, Japan, South Korea, and Sri Lanka.

Ahead of his trip, Secretary Pompeo spoke at the India Ideas Summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington on Wednesday, June 12.

Pompeo highlighted the mutual and indeed global benefits of a stronger relationship between the United States and India.

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“I truly believe that our two nations have an incredibly unique opportunity to move forward together for the good of both of our peoples, the Indo-Pacific region and indeed the entire world.” said Pompeo.

The secretary pointed out that for many years both countries have wished to have closer ties and relations but those plans were delayed due to being sidetracked by other concerns.

“The idea of a U.S.-India partnership, frankly, stretches back a long way,” said the secretary of state, then added, “You all know that when the Indian people first courageously won their independence over 70 years ago, a strong relationship between our countries was something people talked about. Our two markers are two democracies and the close relationship seemed inevitable—a matter of when, not if. But for too long, indeed, for decades we found ourselves on different trajectories. The United States was fighting a Cold War and India was asserting itself its newfound cherished independence through its non-aligned movement trying not to take sides.”

President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Modi July 7, 2017. (Shealah Craighead/Official White House Photo)

Pompeo said that President Trump is in favor of India being given a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and wants to increase mutual defense and security commitments between the two nations.

“And under President Trump, we’ve taken our defense cooperation to new heights, solidified our common vision for the Indo-Pacific and taken a far tougher stand on Pakistan’s unacceptable support for terrorism in the region,” said the secretary.

Pompeo stated that the United States and India are in agreement that increased strength and prosperity for both nations is mutually beneficial.

“Prime Minister Modi, too, said … he said it’s in India’s interests, that India’s interests lie in a strong and prosperous and successful America in the same way that India’s development and its growing role at the international level are in the United States of America’s interest as well,” said the secretary of state.

Pompeo highlighted the friendly personal relationship between President Trump and India’s Prime Minister Modi as well as the plan for stronger economic ties between the two nations.

The secretary also pointed out the common values shared between the United States and India and that they also share concerns regarding some of India’s neighbors.

“We get it. We realize it’s different to deal with the likes of China and Pakistan from across the ocean than it is when they are on your borders,” said Pompeo. “That’s why in this room, not so many months ago, I elaborated on President Trump’s vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. It starts from the premise that we share a common set of values—the values of democracy and freedom and a core belief in the ingenuity of the human spirit. And it’s only natural. It’s only natural that the world’s most populous democracy should partner with the world’s oldest democracy to maintain our shared vision throughout the Indo-Pacific.”

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