Top US diplomat for South Asia visiting New Delhi

Arul Louis-

The top US diplomat dealing with South Asia, Alice Wells, is scheduled to visit India next week on a trip that will also take her to Pakistan, according to the State Department.

Wells, who is the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, is to meet with senior government officials to “advance the U.S.-India strategic global partnership following the success of the 2019 US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue” when she is in New Delhi from January 15 to 18,A the Department said.

She will also attend the Raisina Dialogue, the major Indian conclave on global affairs, in New Delhi.

The Department said that she will also meet with members of the business community and civil society.

India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper participated last month in the 2+2 dialogue on strategic cooperation between the two countries.

Wells will visit Sri Lanka before coming to India, from where she will go to Pakistan.

In Islamabad she is to meet with senior government officials and members of civil society to discuss issues of bilateral and regional concern, the Department said.

Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov of Russia and Mohammad Javed Zarif of Iran along with those of nine other countries will be at Raisina Dialogue.

Jaishankar and other Indian ministers will also be at the meeting organised by the think tank, Observer Research Foundation.