New Delhi :
India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will visit U.S. for the inaugural U.S.-India 2+2 Dialogue on July 6. The meeting will focus on strengthening strategic, security, and defense cooperation as the United States and India jointly confront global challenges.
According to U.S. Department of state, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis will host the Indian ministers at the meeting.
The dialogue was announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 Ministerial Meeting in Buenos Aires last month. Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan have discussed the agenda for the meeting.
During the visit of Prime Minister to the U.S. in June 2016, the U.S. recognised India as a “Major Defence Partner”, which commits the U.S. to facilitate technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners, and industry collaboration for defence co-production and co-development.
Aggregate worth of defence acquisition from U.S. Defence has crossed over US$ 13 billion. India and the United States have launched a Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) aimed at simplifying technology transfer policies and exploring possibilities of co-development and co-production to invest the defence relationship with strategic value.
The DTTI meeting in Delhi in July 2016 decided to broaden its agenda by setting up five new Joint Working Groups on: Naval Systems; Air Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; Chemical and Biological
Protection; and Other Systems.
There have been regular contacts at political and official levels on bilateral, regional and global issues. Foreign Office Consultations, at the level of Foreign Secretary of India and U.S. Under secretary for Political Affairs, are an important part of the dialogue structure. The last round of Foreign Office Consultations was held in New Delhi in April 2015. A new High-level Consultation between Foreign Secretary of India and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State was launched in September 2015, and has met twice since then, in December 2015 in New Delhi and July 2016 in Washington D.C. A Policy Planning Dialogue has also been started between the two sides in September 2015.