WASHINGTON: The foreign and defense ministers of the United States and India will meet in September to discuss bilateral ties and regional issues, the U.S. State Department announced Thursday.
The inaugural U.S.-India “2+2” Dialogue, which has been postponed several times, will be held in New Delhi, the capital of India, on Sept. 6, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis “look forward to meeting with their Indian counterparts,” Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman, to discuss strengthening strategic, security and defense cooperation, as both sides explore ways to jointly address challenges in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond, said Nauert.
Local reports said India would ask the United States not to release its frozen military aid to Pakistan during the dialogue. The instability in West Asia and a strategy against the Islamic State terrorist group may also be on the table.
The meeting, announced in August last year following a call between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump, was originally slated for April. It was later rescheduled for July 6 in Washington but was canceled again due to Pompeo’s trip to Pyongyang. -APP