First US-India '2+2 dialogue' to be held on 6 September: report
21 July 2018
A month after the United States postponed the `2+2 dialogue’ with India, planned to be held in Washington on 6 July, citing “unavoidable reasons”, Washington on Friday said it will now be held on 6 September in New Delhi.
“The United States is pleased to announce that the inaugural US-India ‘2+2 dialogue’ will be held in New Delhi, India, on 6 September,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement. He said both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis will be travelling to India for the much-awaited dialogue.
“Pompeo and Mattis look forward to meeting with their Indian counterparts, minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj and minister of defence Nirmala Sitharaman, to discuss strengthening strategic, security and defence cooperation as the US and India jointly address challenges in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” PTI quoted Nauert as saying.
The ‘two-plus-two dialogue’ comes amidst prospects of India getting entangled in US-Russia and US-Iran sanctions row.
The `2 + 2 dialogue’ was earlier scheduled for April this year but was put off after Trump fired the then secretary of state Rex Tillerson.
US had proposed talks between Nirmala Sitharaman and Jim Mattis in lieu of the ‘2-by-2’ dialogue on 9 July, but India declined the offer.
The plan for a strategic dialogue between US and India was first announced in August 2017, following a telephone conersation between PM Modi and President Trump, which focussed on “strengthening strategic, security and defence cooperation”.
However, the two countries have failed to schedule the talks many times with several dates having been considered.