New United States Secretary of State John Kerry has called up External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid who said India was looking forward to take the bilateral ties to a higher level encompassing diverse sectors.
Kerry, who favours strong ties with India, thanked Khurshid and appreciated his congratulatory letter soon after his confirmation as secretary of state by the US senate.
Khurshid said he was looking forward to work with Kerry to take forward the India-US bilateral strategic relationship, which is at a ‘historically unprecedented high’, to a further higher level encompassing diverse sectors, official sources said in New Delhi.
Congratulating Kerry, the external affairs minister mentioned that he was delighted on his assumption of the high responsibility in the US government and he was aware of Kerry's enormous talent in handling of South Asia-related matters in the recent years.
Kerry was sworn in as the US secretary of state on February 2, replacing Hillary Clinton.
In a telephonic conversation that lasted for seven minutes, Khurshid said he was eagerly looking forward to Kerry's visit to India for the Third Annual India-US Strategic Dialogue scheduled later this year.
He also recounted Kerry's significant contribution in furthering India-US relationship during his tenure as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, official sources said.
Kerry requested Khurshid to convey his wishes to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. In this context, he recalled his visit to India with a large business delegation when Singh was finance minister and also his fond memories of that meeting.
Kerry is a strong advocate of peace talks between India and Pakistan as he firmly believes that there are few relationships that will be vital in the 21st century for Washington's ties with New Delhi.