Mattis, Pompeo to Travel to India for 2+2 in SeptemberTop Stories

July 19, 2018 12:02
Mattis, Pompeo to Travel to India for 2+2 in September

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The first 2+2 dialogue between Defence and Foreign Ministers of India and the United States will take place in September first week in New Delhi. An official announcement on this will be probably in the following few days, according to a report.

The dialogue which was initially scheduled for July 6 in Washington was postponed due to changes in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's schedule.

Pompeo was in Pyongyang for denuclearization talks with the North Korean regime on July 6. James Mattis, Defence Secretary, had offered to host Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the same day, but India did not warm up to the thought of an abbreviated meeting.

Pompeo and Mattis be traveling to New Delhi in the first week of September. In the meantime, both countries are trying to turn the spare time provided by the unexpected postponement of the dialogue into an advantage. Negotiations are underway on the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA).

A communications agreement is significant to the forward movement of the unfinished proposal for India to acquire armed drones from American company General Atomics.

India has reservations regarding the standard text of the COMCASA agreement that the U.S enter into with allies. While the U.S. would opt the standard agreement, it is open to an India-specific agreement too. Both sides have exchanged drafts of the understanding, and communicators are hopeful of its conclusion in time for the dialogue.

Lord's visit is to encourage DTTI and similar visits in the past normally included a roundtable with private defense companies. "The private sector is expected to a play a key role in DTTI and their participation in the dialogue would be helpful," said Benjamin Schwartz, Head of the U.S.-India Business Council’s Defense and Aerospace programme.

By Sowmya Sangam

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Mattis  Pompeo  2+2 dialogue