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India, US to discuss China, Myanmar

Delhi,Diplomacy, Mon, 16 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Against the backdrop of tensions in South China Sea and the recent defiant rocket launch by North Korea, India and the US Tuesday will hold a dialogue on issues related to East Asia, part of a string of interactions that seeks to impart a fresh momentum to India-US ties.


Kurt Campbell, US assistant secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, will hold talks with Gautam Bambawale, joint secretary (East Asia) in the external affairs ministry.


The encouraging steps towards democratization in Myanmar and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's recent victory in parliamentary bypolls are also expected to figure in the discussions. The dialogue on East Asia has acquired an added traction after the US prioritized the Asia-Pacific region as a key thrust of its foreign policy and exhorted India "to act and think East".


China's assertiveness in the South China Sea, which prompted India to declare the disputed sea as the "property of the world", and issues relating to freedom of navigation are expected to figure in the talks. On North Korea, both the US and India have voiced deep concern over the recent failed test by Pyongyang and are likely to discuss issues related to denuclerisation of the Korean peninsula.


The East Asia dialogue will be followed by talks between Home Secretary R.K. Singh and US Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security Jane Lute on homeland security April 19-20.


This will be followed by the India-Japan-US trilateral dialogue in Tokyo April 23. The inaugural dialogue, which had upset Beijing, was held in December last year in Washington.


Amid China's anxieties, the three countries have made it clear that their trilateral was not directed at any third country, but was only aimed at deepening areas of cooperation and dialogue on issues of concern among themselves.


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