Pompeo to attend US-India 2+2 dialogue in New Delhi next week

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting at the prime minister’s residence in New Delhi on June 26, 2019. – When US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sits down with India’s prime minister on June 26 he will be trying to chart a path that keeps the Asian ally onside politically even as the two countries are at loggerheads over trade. (Photo by Jacquelyn Martin / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read JACQUELYN MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images)

New Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) New Delhi will be hosting the third India-US 2+2 ministerial level dialogue on October 27, amidst deteriorating relations with China.

The US-India 2+2 talks, just weeks ahead of the US presidential elections, are significant in view of the standoff between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh and Cold War-like tensions between the US and China.

The ministry of external affairs in a statement on Wednesday said that India-U.S. 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue hosted by New Delhi will be attended by US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark T. Esper during their two-day visit on October 26 and 27.

From the Indian side, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will lead the delegations from their respective ministries.

The first two 2+2 Ministerial dialogues were held in New Delhi in September 2018 and in Washington DC in 2019. The agenda for the third Dialogue will cover all bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest, the statement said.

The US state department’s spokesperson Morgan Ortagus in a statement said that Secretary Pompeo will travel to New Delhi, India; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Mal�, Maldives; and Jakarta, Indonesia from October 25 to 30.

In New Delhi, Secretary Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark T. Esper and their Indian counterparts will lead the third annual U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue to advance the U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and expand cooperation to promote stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world.

Secretary Pompeo will travel to Colombo to underscore the commitment of the United States to a partnership with a strong, sovereign Sri Lanka and to advance our common goals for a free and open Indo-Pacific region, the spokesperson said.

Thereafter, Secretary Pompeo will travel to Mal� to reaffirm the close bilateral relationship and advance US partnership on issues ranging from regional maritime security to the fight against terrorism.

The Secretary will travel to Jakarta to deliver public remarks and meet with his Indonesian counterparts to affirm the two countries’ vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

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