India’s S-400 missile defence system deal with Russia was not discussed during the bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of G20 Summit in Japan’s Osaka, External Affairs Ministry said on Friday. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, informing about the bilateral meeting between Modi and Trump, said that primary focus was on Iran issue and to ensure stability in the region as a large Indian diaspora lives in Gulf.
"S-400 issue wasn't discussed. On Iran, primary focus was on how we ensure stability there, as instability affects us in many ways, not just in matter of energy needs, but also in terms of our large diaspora in Gulf, 8 million Indians in the Gulf," Gokhale said.
The S-400 deal with Russia was the major bone of contention between India and US with the later cautioning New Delhi that the deal with Kremlin would limit defence cooperation with Washington. Transactions with Russia risk imposition of sanctions by the US under the CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act).
Gokhale said that Modi and Trump agreed to meet again on an early date to sort out trade differences between the two nations. Ahead of the meeting, Trump had said that the tarrif hike on several US products by India was "unacceptable" and demanded it to be withdrawn.
"It was agreed that trade ministers of both countries would meet on an early date and try to sort out these issues. Both US trade representatives Robert Loghthizer and their Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were in the room. We expect an early meeting," Gokhale said.
Giving further details about the issues discussed during India-Japan-US trilateral meeting among the leaders of the three countries, Gokhale said that Indo-Pacific was the main topic focused upon during the meeting held on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka.
“Main topic of discussion was Indo-Pacific, how the 3 countries can work together in terms of connectivity, infrastructure, ensuring peace & security, and in terms of working together to build upon this new concept,” he said.