First-ever India-United States 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue was held in the national capital on Thursday. The meeting is being seen as a reflection of shared commitment of India and U.S. to provide a positive, forward-looking vision to strategic partnership and growing convergence on important issues between two countries.
MEA Sushma Swaraj raises issue of H1B visa
MEA Sushma swaraj raised the issue of H1B visa for Indians at the 2+2 dialogue with her couterpart Mike Pompeo. She said that the issue is an important one and conveyed to the US authorities that India expects a balanced view on the matter.
Sushma swaraj also reiterated India’s commitment in the fight against terrorism and welcomed the action US has taken, particularly against terror groups active in Pakistan including LeT.
Swaraj also welcomed the efforts both countries are making to ensure freedom of naviagtion in the INdo pacific region.
Dialogue truly historic, important: US secretary of state
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo termed the dialogue as truly historic and important. He said that the discussions also focused on the efforts of ensuring free and open Indo pacific.
Most productive & positive meeting: Nirmala Sitharaman
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said it was the most productive and positive meeting. She reiterated India’s commitment to combat threat of terrorism together.
She said that the most significant aspect of the talks were the deepening defence relationships. She also said that the two nations will engage in a first ever tri services exercise in 2019 off eastern coast of India.
She also welcomed the signing of the ‘Communications, Compatibility, Security Agreement or the COMCASA after the first two-plus-two talks.
COMCASA will facilitate India to obtain critical defence technologies from the US, and access critical communication network to ensure interoperability among the US and the Indian armed forces.
US Defense Secretary favours Sitharaman’s views
Sitharaman’s views were supported by US secretary for defense James Mattis. Calling India a stabilizing force in Indo Pacific, mattis termed the signing of COMCASA as a significant step.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held separate bilateral talks with their American counterparts Mike Pompeo and James Mattis before the 2 + 2 dialogue.
The leaders discussed various issues of mutual interest during the talks. The four leaders will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the evening.