The Ministry of External Affairs said on Wednesday that the United States has postponed its “2+2 dialogue” with India, which was to begin on July 6. The ministry’s spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on June 28 that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to express disappointment that the dialogue had to be postponed due to “unavoidable reasons”.
“Pompeo sought Swaraj’s understanding, and they agreed to identify new, mutually convenient dates to hold the dialogue at the earliest, in India or the US,” Kumar tweeted.
Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were scheduled to travel to the United States to take part in the first India-US “2+2 dialogue”, to discuss with Pompeo and US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis the ways in which strategic and defence ties can be strengthened.
The two sides agreed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington DC in June 2017 to hold discussions in this new format.
The dialogue was supposed to be held earlier this year but was postponed because of uncertainty over the confirmation of Mike Pompeo as President Donald Trump’s new secretary of state. The US Senate confirmed Pompeo’s appointment in April.
The United States Senate on Tuesday passed a $716 billion (Rs 48 lakh crore) defence bill which, among other things, seeks to strengthen Washington’s defence partnership with New Delhi.