October 23, 2020 12:43:34 am
US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark T Esper will jointly call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their visit to India on October 26 and 27.
They will also have separate bilateral meetings with External Affairs minister S Jaishankar and Defence minister Rajnath Singh, apart from holding the Indo-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue.
“The 3rd India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue will entail a comprehensive discussion on cross cutting bilateral issues of mutual interest. In addition, both sides will also exchange views on salient regional and global issues,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said Thursday.
He said the discussions in the previous two dialogues—held in New Delhi in September 2018 and Washington DC in December 2019—have enabled both sides to progress the bilateral relationship and strengthen the institutional framework for cooperation across all sectors.
“India and US have a comprehensive global strategic partnership which includes political, security and defence, economic, commercial, technology and people to people contacts. We have regular dialogue for various levels to discuss ongoing bilateral cooperation and to exchange views on developments in the region,” the spokesperson said.
In his second Asia trip in less than a month, Pompeo will also visit Maldives, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
“Looking forward to my upcoming trip to India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia, for productive conversations with our friends and partners, and the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue with Defence Secretary Mark Esper and our Indian counterparts,” Pompeo told reporters at a news conference in Washington DC on Wednesday. Each stop, he said, will include discussions on a “broad range of bilateral topics”.
Discussions will also include how they can cooperate to maintain a “free and open Indo-Pacific”, he said. “I’m sure my meetings will also include discussions on how free nations can work together to thwart threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”
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