India, US 2+2 dialogue in Delhi on Sept 6

India, US 2+2 dialogue in Delhi on Sept 6

India and the United States have finally set September 6 as the date to hold the inaugural 2+2 dialogue.

The two sides have also agreed to hold it in New Delhi, and not in Washington, where it was originally proposed to be held.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will host US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and the Secretary of Defence James Mattis, said Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, on Friday.

The dialogue was first scheduled to be held in Washington in April. It was, however, postponed due to changes in US President Donald Trump’s Administration. Sushma's then-counterpart in the US Administration, Rex Tillerson, resigned on March 31 and the US Senate confirmed the appointment of his successor Pompeo on April 26.

The dialogue was then scheduled to be held in Washington on July 6. But it was postponed again as Pompeo had to visit Pyongyang in early July to follow up on Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore. Pompeo called up Sushma on June 27 and expressed regret for not being able to hold the 2+2 dialogue in Washington on July 6.

The diplomats from India and the US have since been in touch to reschedule the dialogue.

“This new dialogue format is in pursuit of the agreement reached between India and the US during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington in June last year,” said Kumar.

The MEA spokesperson said that the 2+2 meeting would “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."