Sushma Swaraj 'strongly raises' H1B visa issue in meeting with Rex Tillerson

Swaraj and Tillerson discussed progressed about several bilateral issues.

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Sushma Swaraj 'strongly raises' H1B visa issue in meeting with Rex Tillerson
Sushma Swaraj-Rex Tillerson (Image courtesy MEA)


A day before her speech at United Nations General Assembly,  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday held a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The big focus of the meeting was measures taken to curb terrorism and regional issues with a focus of Pakistan, Afghanistan. This comes a day after Pakistan PM Abbasi upped the ante at UNGA by accusing India of indulging in cross-border terrorism and of human rights violation in Jammu and Kashmir.  

 Contentious issues for Indian- Americans like H1B visa and DACA were also discussed during the meeting. 

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly session here. This was the highest-level meeting between the leaders of the two countries since June when Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with US President Donald Trump. Swaraj and Tillerson discussed a wide range of bilateral issues, including the situation in the neighbourhood and the Indo-Asia Pacific region, officials said.
 he meeting also comes ahead of the visit of Defence Secretary Jim Mattis to India next week. Swaraj is scheduled to address the world body on Saturday.

"This morning, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New York City," the US State Department said in a tweet along with a picture of the two leaders greeting each other.

Later External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the two leaders reviewed all aspects of the bilateral relationship, including expanding our trade and investment relations. "Deepening global strategic partnership, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meets with Rex Tillerson, US Secretary of State in their first standalone meeting," Kumar tweeted.

The joint statement given by Modi and Trump had no mention of the contentious H1B Visa issue. Changing of the status quo by US authorities can potentially affect many white collar Indian workers particularly in IT industry. However Sushma Swaraj made her concerns clear to Tillerson according to MEA. The issue of Dreamers, who are children of undocumented migrants who entered US illegally was also discussed. Dreamers were protected by the DACA Act, which will cease to exist within the next six months if US Congress fails to reach an agreement. 


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