2+2 Dialogue Between India, US Will be Held in September: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Flags of U.S. and India (Photo: USAPP)

New Delhi, July 13: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the 2+2 dialogue between India and the US will take place in the first week of September. "The 2+2 dialogue with US is to happen in the first week of September. The agenda will be to develop and strengthen strategic defence cooperation and to follow-on with what had transpired during the meeting with Secretary Defence Mattis," Sitharaman said.

The 2+2 Dialogue involving External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and their US counterparts Mike Pompeo and James Mattis -- scheduled to be held in Washington on July 6 -- was put on hold by the US on June 27. Secretary of State Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis were supposed to host the Indian ministers at the meeting.

The US later clarified the deferment was "unrelated to bilateral relationship". "Our relationship will mark a new milestone when the US and India conduct the first-ever 2+2 dialogue. The delay in that meeting was completely unrelated to India. The time and location are being rescheduled now. It will happen soon," US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley had said.

The format of the meeting was agreed upon between the two sides during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Washington in June 2017 when he met US President Donald Trump for the first time.