India, US to hold first ‘2+2 dialogue’ on September 6: U.S State Dept

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The inaugural “two plus two” talks between India and the United States will take place on September 6 in New Delhi, the US Department of State announced Friday.

The Hindu had previously informed about the possibility of such a meeting.

Last month, the United States postponed the long-awaited dialogue due to “unavoidable reasons.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis would travel to India for dialogue.

“The United States is pleased to announce that the first ‘2 + 2’ dialogue between the United States and India will be held in New Delhi, India, on September 6,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. .

Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Mattis “expect to meet with their Indian counterparts,” Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, “to discuss the strengthening of strategic, security and defense cooperation” while the The United States and India jointly address the challenges in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond, said Nauert.

The dialogue was announced last year during the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President Donald Trump in the White House. After June of last year, the two countries have tried to schedule the dialogue many times, having considered several dates.

Last month, EE. UU He postponed the scheduled dialogue to be held in Washington because of “unavoidable reasons.”

The dialogue is seen as a vehicle to elevate the strategic relationship between the two countries.

The announcement of the “two plus two dialogue” comes amid the prospects that India will be imposed with unintended sanctions aimed at Iran and Russia.

“The unfortunate reality is that India has been caught in the crossfire of secondary sanctions by the Trump administration against Russia and Iran.

“While this is undoubtedly a serious challenge in the bilateral relationship, it is not insurmountable – both parties should focus their efforts on finding a solution that preserves their respective interests,” said Ronak Desai, vice president of Indian Practice at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, to PTI. .