US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue to focus on bilateral, regional and global issues

US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also meet National Security Advisor Ajit Doval during their visit to New Delhi next week for attending the India-US 2+2 Dialogue.

“The third India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue will entail a comprehensive discussion on cross cutting bilateral issues of mutual interest. In addition, both sides will also exchange views on salient regional and global issues,” said Anurag Srivastava, Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in a media briefing on Thursday.

Secretaries Esper and Pompeo, will also have bilateral meetings with their respective counterparts Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar .

Srivastava, however, did not elaborate when asked about the possibility of specific issues being discussed such as the on-going India-China skirmishes and the economic and employment problems in both countries.

When asked why the key dialogue on bilateral defence and strategic ties was being held so close to the US Presidential elections scheduled on November 3, the spokesperson said that holding such meetings at the end of the year was a usual practice. “Diplomatic calendars have their budgets. The earlier meetings also happened towards the end of the year,” Srivastava said.

The previous two dialogues were held in New Delhi in September 2018 and in Washington DC in December 2019. “The discussions in these dialogues have enabled both sides to further progress the bilateral relationship and strengthen the institutional framework for cooperation across all sectors. India and US have a comprehensive global strategic partnership which includes political, security and defence, economic, commercial, technology and people to people contacts. We have regular dialogue for various levels to discuss ongoing bilateral cooperation and to exchange views on developments in the region,” the spokesperson said.