Published: Thu, October 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

USA expects Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorism: Tillerson

USA expects Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorism: Tillerson

In terms of defense ties, Tillerson built on growing U.S. -India military cooperation that ramped up late in the Obama administration, calling the two countries "bookends of stability" in a troubled part of the world.

"We expect Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorist groups based within their own borders and threaten their own people and the broader region. In doing so, Pakistan furthers stability and peace for itself and its neighbors, and improves its own global standing", he added. "In keeping with India's status as a "Major Defence Partner" a status overwhelmingly endorsed past year by the US Congress and our mutual interest in expanding maritime cooperation, the Trump administration has offered a menu of defence options for India's consideration, including the Guardian UAV", Tillerson told a Washington audience.

In an unprecedented criticism of Beijing and its methods while juxtaposing and contrasting it with New Delhi's outlook, Tillerson said China, while rising alongside India, "has done so less responsibly, at times undermining the worldwide, rules-based order - even as countries like India operate within a framework that protects other nations' sovereignty".

While President Donald Trump has looked to deepen cooperation with China on addressing the nuclear threat from North Korea, he's sought a much closer relationship with India, which also shares USA worries on Islamic extremism.

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Tillerson added that the Trump administration is determined to deepen ties with India.

"India-US are working towards shared security goals", the US secretary of state said. He also pointed out that previous year bilateral trade attained a record of roughly $115 billion.

Tillerson said that the increasing convergence of United States and Indian interests and values offer the Indo-Pacific the best opportunity to defend the rule-based global system.

Ahead of President Donald Trump's upcoming visit to five Asian countries including China, the United States is all set to announce its first major policy on India.

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"China's provocative actions in the South China Sea directly challenge the worldwide law and norms that the United States and India both stand for", he added, drawing New Delhi into the strategic matrix in the Asia-Pacific region where a rising and assertive Beijing has begun to challenge Washington's decades long dominance even as New Delhi has largely stood by the sidelines. "But it also comes with a responsibility for both of our countries to "do the needful" in support of our united vision of a free, open, and thriving Indo-Pacific", he said. He said the two nations share goals of security, free navigation, free trade and fighting terrorism in the Indo-Pacific, and serve as "the eastern and western beacons" for an worldwide rules-based order which is increasingly under strain.

Taking on Pakistan, Rex Tillerson said Islamabad must act against terror outfits based in their own region. In July, the USA sanctioned Hizbul Mujahideen, a Pakistan-based rebel group that fights against Indian control in the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir. We value and respect that.

"We are eager to grow our relationship even as India grows as a world leader and power. They are the good neighbours and partner that we have in the region", she said.

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