Washington, Jul 20: The 2+2 dialogue between India and the United States will be held in New Delhi on September 6, the State Department confirmed on Friday. The talks were scheduled for July 6 in Washington but was postponed by the US as Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo had to travel to North Korea to discuss the country’s denuclearisation plan. Also Read - Corona Funds For Delhi Rs 0: AAP Complains Against Centre's Bias
“The United States is pleased to announce that the inaugural US-India ‘2+2 dialogue’ will be held in New Delhi, India, on September 6,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement. “Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis will meet their Indian counterpart,” she added further. Also Read - Blood-Related Therapy New Hope For COVID-19 Patients? US Investigates After Positive Results From China
“Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defense Nirmala Sitharaman, to discuss strengthening strategic, security, and defence cooperation as US and India jointly address challenges in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” Nauert said. Also Read - India Battles COVID-19: Positive Cases Soar to 3,374, Death Toll Reaches 77; Govt Issues Fresh Advisory: 10 Points
Earlier on July 13, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had asserted that the 2+2 dialogue between India and the US is expected to take place in September. “The 2+2 dialogue with the US is to take place in the first week of September. The focus of the talks will be to strengthen defence and security cooperation,” she told reporters.
The announcement of the ‘two-plus-two dialogue’ comes amidst prospects of India being imposed with unintended sanctions that are targeted at Iran and Russia. “The unfortunate reality is that India has been caught in the crossfire of the Trump administration’s secondary sanctions against both Russia and Iran.
“Although this is undoubtedly a serious challenge in the bilateral relationship, it is not insurmountable. Both sides will have to focus their efforts in finding a solution that preserves both their respective interests,” Ronak Desai, vice-chair, India Practice at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, told PTI.
The dialogue was announced last year during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House. After June last year, the two countries have tried to schedule the dialogue many times with several dates having been considered.
(Inputs from PTI)