US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley says delay in 2+2 dialogue unrelated to India

NEW DELHI :

 

In an attempt to strike down all the assumptions behind postponement of the 2+2 dialogue U.S. Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley on Thursday said that it is “completely unrelated” to India.

 

In her speech on “Advancing India-US Relations” organised by the Observer Research Foundation, Haley said, “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.”

 

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo called his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday and announced the postponement of the dialogue scheduled for July 6. Raveesh Kumar, official spokesperson for Ministry of External Affairs tweeted that Pompeo spoke to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and expressed his regret and deep disappointment for having to postpone the dialogue.

 

 

Since then all kinds of reports have emerged claiming that the dialogue was postponed due to issues like sanctions against Iran, the proposal to buy the S-400 missile system from Russia or India’s decision to raise tariffs on 29 US imports in retaliation for the US decision to include India in its list of countries covered by higher steel and aluminum duties.

 

Earlier, US President Donald Trump had accused New Delhi of charging as high as 100 per cent tariff on import of American products. “We have countries where, as an example, India, they charge up as much as 100 per cent tariff. We want the tariffs removed,” Trump had said.

 

Nikki Haley’s comment seems to be an attempt to strike down all these reports and speculations. “Perhaps no other partnership has as much potential for global peace and prosperity over the next 10, 20 or 50 years,” Nikki Haley said.

 

A press release issued by the US Embassy said, “The U.S.-India partnership is a major strategic priority for the Trump Administration. The US remains firmly committed to a strong relationship with India.”

 

Meanwhile, Raveesh Kumar tweeted that Pompeo and Swaraj have agreed to identify new mutually convenient dates to hold dialogue.

 

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