Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar (source: ANI)

Ahead of his meeting with Mike Pompeo, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said India will meet the US Secretary of State “with a positive attitude” to find “common ground” to resolve trade issues. “Trade issues will be discussed. We will try to find common ground,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.

“We will be meeting with a positive attitude,” he added.

The foreign affairs minister is slated to hold a meeting with his US counterpart amid soaring tensions in the economic relations between the two countries.

This is Pompeo’s first visit after the Narendra Modi-led BJP government was re-elected a month ago. The meeting would set the ground for a later meet between PM Modi and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka on June 28-29.

Jaishankar, perceived as the man who understands the US better than anyone in the government, is expected to convey Delhi’s position on a host of issues. Most importantly, he is likely to establish a working rapport so that differences can be allayed between the two countries.

The meeting, which is Jaishankar’s first, is being considered as a “getting to know each other” meet, according to sources.

Sources had earlier indicated that Jaishankar and Pompeo will not be looking at “resolving issues”, but at achieving a common ground on how to proceed ahead so that they can manage their differences and build on their convergences.

Pompeo is also likely to meet PM Modi at his residence during his stay here. Among other things, he will also make a policy speech on Wednesday evening.

The Secretary of State’s speech in Washington DC on 12 June was seen as candid, wherein he had said that he will discuss the recent decision on the GSP programme. The decades-old privilege order of trade offered to India was withdrawn by the US earlier this month.

In June, India imposed higher tariffs on 28 US products, following the withdrawal of trade privileges for India. Last year, India had announced tariffs in retaliation to higher U.S. import duties on steel and aluminium.

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