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India and US to hold first ‘2+2 dialogue’ on September 6

Last month, the US had postponed the much-awaited dialogue due to “unavoidable reasons”. 

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

“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.

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, Nauert said.

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.

Last month, the US postponed the dialogue scheduled to be held in Washington due to “unavoidable reasons”. The dialogue is seen as a vehicle to elevate the strategic relationship between the two countries.

Meanwhile, a senior State Department official told reporters that the co-operation among quad countries the US, Japan, India and Australia would come up in the next week’s US-Australia Ministerial Consultations in Palo Alto.

“I think it will publicly come up in the course of the discussions. We’ve been encouraged by the two quad meetings that have taken place at the assistant secretary level to date, and we look forward to continuing holding these meetings,” the official said. “We believe it’s a constructive way for like-minded nations in the region to have a chance to share views and to coordinate to the extent possible to ensure that we reach our mutual objectives in the region.

“Our fundamental objectives are laid out in our Indo-Pacific strategy, and I think whether it’s Australia, the US, Japan or India, we all have some very close-held, very similar views on the fundamental importance of maintaining a rules-based system and international norms, our commitment to free and open markets, all these things,” the official said.


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