- The Foreign Minister was speaking to media on 100 days of his ministry
- India-US relations have come a long way, he said
- Relationship with US is in very good health, S Jaishankar added
The India-US relationship is in "very good health", Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday to a question on the trade differences between the two countries, describing the ties as "90 per cent full and 10 per cent half". The minister also said US President Donald Trump attending the "Howdy, Modi!" event on Sunday in Houston along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a matter of great honour.
The Foreign Minister was speaking to the media on 100 days of his ministry.
"India-US relations have come a long way... look at the quality of ties, the political comfort, the security cooperation...there is no facet of the relationship today which hasn't gone upwards over the last 20 years. For an event like Houston, from both sides the approach is bipartisan. The relationship is in very good health," Mr Jaishankar said.
"The trajectory has always been upwards. As in any relationship, there are issues. The trade problems are normal with people you are closest to, since most trade happens with them."
Mr Jaishankar said the government had been engaging for months with the US to try and resolve the trade issues. "It's a glass 90 per cent full rather than 10 per cent empty," he said.
Speaking on the "Howdy, Modi!" event, in which President Trump and PM Modi will address thousands of Indian Americans, the Foreign Minister said it was a "great achievement" for the community.
"You have an event of this size and someone like Trump coming there, it shows the respect the Indian community commands. They're motivated by the fact that someone like Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister; it's a matter of great honour that Trump has decided to come there," he said.
On what message the event held for Pakistan, Mr Jaishankar said: "It's not just Pakistan...the whole world will be watching the Houston event and take lessons from what Indian Americans have achieved. There are multiple messages there . It's for the Pakistanis to read what they wish into it."
Mr Jaishankar, who was Foreign Secretary in the previous Modi government, also fielded questions on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, where several politicians have been detained and massive security restrictions have been in place since August 5, when the government announced the end of special status to the state under Article 370.
"Don't worry about what people will say on Jammu and Kashmir. India's position clear since 1972. On my issue, my position will prevail. You have people in the US Congress making comments. I've spent a lot of my working life dealing with the US Congress. They say a lot of things because people go to individual members, and say 'you need to say this'; I expect to be in DC fairly soon and if I were to meet a member of Congress I would ask them - you have confronted terrorism what was your response ? Would you be impassive ? What would you do if the laws of your country don't apply everywhere?"
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