‘Discussion on JK centred on positive developments in region’
The new citizenship law did not come up for discussion between visiting US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Tuesday, noting that the two leaders talked about religious harmony in a "positive way".
He said India and the US held talks in five major categories - security, defence, energy, technology and people-to-people contact, with Trump assuring India highest consideration for collaboration in defence sector.
Shringla said Modi and Trump also decided to move towards what was referred to as a "big deal" in trade sector.
He said two leaders have decided to conclude the ongoing discussions on bilateral trade as soon as possible and give it legal framework and text can be finalised with legal vetting as soon as possible.
"The two leaders also decided to move towards what was referred to as big deal in the trade sector," he said.
In response to a question on whether the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act that has led to violent protests across the country and the National Register of Citizens were discussed, Shringla said the new citizenship law did not come up in the talks.
"The issue of CAA did not come up, but with regard to what you mentioned, the term religious freedom, there was appreciation from both sides that pluralism and diversity are a common binding factor of both the countries," he said.
"You would have heard President Trump in his speech yesterday in Ahmedabad referred to religious diversity and harmony that is evident in India and discussions really to the extent possible were on these lines on this issue," Shringla told reporters.
In response to a question he said, "Religious harmony was discussed in a positive way" between the two leaders and added that discussion on Jammu and Kashmir centred on positive developments in the region.
"Things were moving in the right direction," he said on discussion on J&K during Indo-US talks.
In response to another question, Shringla said that Pakistan figured in the discussion between the two leaders and India's "concerns were put on the table" on cross-border terrorism.
He said the two countries have also decided to set up working groups on curbing narcotics trafficking and reinvigorating homeland security dialogue.
"President Trump has assured highest consideration to India for procurement, technology and joint collaboration in defence sector," he said.