Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale began a three-day visit to the US on Monday during which he will meet senior officials of the Trump administration and exchange views on major foreign policy and security-related developments, officials said. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Gokhale is visiting Washington in connection with bilateral foreign office consultation and strategic security dialogue with his American counterparts.
During his visit, Gokhale is also likely to meet with senior leaders in the US administration and US Congress, he said in response to a query on the foreign secretary's visit.
The foreign secretary's visit to the US comes in the backdrop of growing tension between India and Pakistan. "Foreign Secretary is visiting Washington DC on March 11-13 in connection with the bilateral foreign office consultation and strategic security dialogue with his US counterparts, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson respectively," Kumar said.
"These are regular high-level dialogue mechanisms to review bilateral relations, exchange views on major foreign policy and security-related developments and coordinate respective positions on issues of common interest," he said. Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after Indian fighter jets bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan on February 26.
Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations next day. However, the IAF thwarted their plans. The Indian strike on the JeM camp was carried out 12 days after the terror outfit claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers.