The first-ever ‘two plus two’ dialogue between India and the United States will be held on September 6, 2018 in New Delhi. The high-level talks are scheduled to be held between the foreign and defence ministries of the two nations.
The Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will host the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US Secretary of Defense James Mattis for the inaugural dialogue. Both Pompeo and Mattis arrived in Delhi on September 5 to attend the meeting.
The talks were agreed upon by US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting in June 2017. However, since then they were postponed twice, first in April this year and then in July.
1. The 2+2 dialogue is expected to cover a broad range of bilateral, regional and global issues of shared interest, with a view to strengthening strategic and security ties between the two countries.
2. The key issues expected to be brought up include enhancing trade, ensuring a safer, secure, prosperous and free Indo-Pacific region, ways to counter terrorism and India’s concerns over the Trump administration’s decision to make changes in the H1B visa programme.
3. The US sanctions on the import of Iranian crude oil and boosting cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region will also be the focus of the talks.
4. India’s missile defence system purchase from Russia and oil purchase from Iran would also be a part of the 2+2 dailogue. However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cleared that these issues will not be the prime focus.