India-US 2+2 Dialogue: James Mattis, Mike Pompeo meet PM Modi.
Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held the first high-level 2+2 talks with their US counterparts Mike Pompeo and Jim Mattis, with boosting cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and finalizing a pact on encrypted defence technologies high on the agenda. All four of them also met PM Modi. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Delhi yesterday for the talk. Sushma Swaraj received Mr Pompeo, while Ms Sitharaman welcomed Jim Mattis at the Palam airport, reflecting the importance of the talks, which are being held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan in the national capital.
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford is also part of the US delegation. The External Affairs Minister will have a separate bilateral meeting with Mr Pompeo while Ms Sitharaman will have a one-on-one meeting with Mr Mattis on Thursday morning before the delegation-level two-plus-two talks. In the afternoon, Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sitharaman, Mike Pompeo and James Mattis will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Here are the live updates on inaugural 2+2 dialogue:
India and the US also pledged to expand their bilateral trade and economic partnership with a view to promoting investment and job creation.
According to a joint statement issued after the inaugural India-US Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue, the two nations also agreed to work collectively with other partner countries in the Indo-Pacific region to support transparent, responsible and sustainable debt financing practices in infrastructure development.
We want trade balance, trade deficit US has in trade with India,to be rectified. They've made progress on that. They're going to buy more energy products&aircraft from US.We appreciate It. But gap will remain&so urging them to do all they can to narrow it: Mike Pompeo
India and the US have also agreed to work together to secure Nuclear Suppliers Group's membership for India at the earliest.
Calling for a free and open Indo-Pacific, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that both India and the US should continue to ensure the freedom of the seas and the skies.
Speaking to media after the 2+2 Dialogue between India and the US, Mr Pompeo stressed on the need for upholding peaceful resolution of territorial maritime disputes, promoting market-based economics, supporting good governance, fundamental rights, and liberties, and preventing external economic coercion.
"India's leadership in the world supports our shared democratic values regionally and globally. We also recognise the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, renaming US Pacific Command to the US Indo-Pacific Command.
With India as a major defence partner, we are elevating our defence relationship to be on a par with our closest allies as we deepen the broader US-India relationship, enhancing our interoperability, our defence trade, our technology innovation and industrial collaboration, and bolstering our people-to-people bonds," Jim Mattis said while speaking to the media after the India-US 2+2 Dialogue on Thursday.
Mike Pompeo and James Mattis Thursday briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the first 2+2 dialogue held between the two countries."The prime minister fondly recalled his interactions with President Trump and requested the secretaries to convey his greetings to him," a brief statement from the Prime Minister's Office said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis praised the deepening ties between the world's two largest democracies after their first joint meeting with their Indian counterparts in New Delhi.
The relationship between the United States and India has entered "a new era," Pompeo said, adding that Thursday's meeting is "symbolic of our increasingly close partnership."
India seeks US partnership to boost various sectors and grow the bilateral trade to $500-600 billion from the current $125 billon with a good strategy under a stipulated time, commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu said.
We welcome the signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement COMCASA between U.S. and India. This agreement takes US-India Defense partnership to new heights: U.S. Ambassador to India Ken Juster
Nirmala Sitharaman on US-India 2+2 Dialogue
To enhance our synergies in this area, we have decided to carry out, for the first time, a tri-Services joint exercise with the United States off the eastern coast of India in 2019
The signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) today will enable India to access advanced technologies from the US and enhance India's defence preparedness
USA has renamed its PacificCommand responsible for relations with India as IndoPacificCommand. Reflecting our wider global partnership, we will also enhance our interactions with United States military's CentralCommand
We welcome the US' positive response to India's request to nominate a Point of Contact in the US Department of Defense to help address procedural complexities and facilitate Indian companies to join the manufacturing supply chains of US defence companies
We also identified cooperation in defence innovation as a major area of emphasis for the future. The Memorandum of Intent between our defence innovation agencies is a first step in this direction.
James Mattis, Mike Pompeo, Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India-US also discussed the contentious H-1B visa. Talking about her bilateral meeting with Mike Pompeo before the 2+2 dialogue, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said they reviewed the direction of the Indo-US relations in recent months and exchanged views on a number of regional issues of shared concern.
US and Indian militaries will carry out large-scale joint exercises off India next year, top officials said Thursday.
The drills would be a first of sorts -- the two countries' forces have not previously trained simultaneously in the air, on the land and at sea.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made the announcement at the end of a summit with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj.
5 Point Explainer: India, United States Sign COMCASA - Landmark Defence Pact
In what is being seen as a crucial military and political engagement, India and the United States have signed a path-breaking agreement COMCASA or Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement on Thursday. The agreement will allow India to get advanced encrypted military technology and hardware from the United States.
We will continue working together, join hands and expand India's role as a primary major defence partner, to elevate our relationship to a level to commence with our closest allies and partners: US Secretary of State James Mattis
US and India have drawn closer in recent years, seeking ways to counter-balance China's spreading influence across Asia, notably in Pakistan, Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean
India and US sign the COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) after the inaugural 2+2 Dialogue.
Addressing a joint press conference, Sushma Swaraj expressed satisfaction over the agenda of the inaugural dialogue while giving the details of the deliberations.
While Mike Pompeo termed the 'Communications, Compatibility, Security Agreement (COMCASA)' agreement a "milestone" in the relationship, Nirmala Sitharaman asserted that the pact will enhance India's defence capability and preparedness.
"Defence came out as the single-most important aspect of our discussions today," the Indian Defence Minister said
"India and US are committed to defend our shared democratic values. We have agreed to work together to ensure peace and prosperity of our nations and people, as well as in our regions," says Nirmala Sitharaman
All countries in Asia and south-east Asia can benefit from a free and fair Indo-Pacific and that will be our priority," the US Secretary of State said
"We discussed Afghanistan and North Korea, and how we, together can work on these strategically important regions," Mr Pompeo told the media
"India and the US stand for freedom and democratic values... and we aim to extend this across the Indo-Pacific... we will work at different levels to ensure a free Indo-Pacific," Mike Pompeo said
We have discussed terror emanating from Pakistan and have agreed that Pakistan needs to do a lot more to curb terror originating from it, Ms Swaraj said.
This meet was a focus on regional stability in South Asia, South-East Asia and Indo-Pacific, Sushma Swaraj said adding that India being a part of groups like the ASEAN also help greatly in this endeavor.
We have also discussed the H-1B visa issue. This visa impacts Indian IT professionals. We have appealed to the US to keep this a high-priority in our ties," Sushma Swaraj said
"In today's meet, we have agreed to speed up the process of India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group," Sushma Swaraj said in an address to the press after the 2+2 dialogue
This meeting is a reflection of tremendous focus that we've made in developing our ties over the past few years. It's a strong recognition of immense potential of our bilateral partnership for benefit of our people, region and beyond, says Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during '2+2' talks
The commencement of first ever ministry of 2+2 between India and US is a concrete manifestation of the work vision of our leaders PM Modi and US President Donald Trump to take India-US relationship to even higher trajectory, says Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
"We should continue to ensure freedom of the seas, skies, uphold the peaceful resolutions of the maritime disputes, promote market based economics and good governance and prevent external economic coercion": Mike Pompeo during '2+2' talks
"PM Modi and US President Donald Trump set future directions for our relationship. I am happy to note that there has been significant progress in all key areas of our relationship": Sushma Swaraj
"I am confident that our discussions and decisions that we'll take today will help unleash the untapped potential of our relation & further elevate the level of our partnership," Sushma Swaraj said
Our two nations are united by shared values of democracy, respect for individual rights and a shared commitment to freedom. Given those values India and the United States have a natural starting point, says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
All four leaders met for the 2+2 talks after holding bilateral talks first
Exteral Affairs Ministery spokesperson said that the two sides took stock of impressive strides in the bilateral relationship between the two countries and discussed steps to take the relationship to an even higher trajectory.
The 2+2 dialogue is being held today after twice being postponed. Mike Pompeo had said that he regretted that it had to be postponed twice. "I regret it was my fault the second time. I had to travel to Pyongyang. But secretary Mattis and I are both looking forward to this," he had said.
The twice-delayed dialogue was earlier scheduled for July 6 in Washington, but was postponed by the US on June 27, citing "unavoidable reasons".
Bilateral talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her US counterpart Mike Pompeo have begun
The S-400 air defence system that India wants to purchase from Russia will be a point of contention in the 2+2 talks. "They are (missile system purchase from Russia and oil from Iran) part of the conversation. They are part of the relationship. They will certainly come up, but I don't think they will be the primary focus of what it is we are trying to accomplish here," Mr Pompeo said on Tuesday to a question from reporters who are travelling with him to Pakistan and then to India.
Talks have begun between Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis. Jim Mattis had earlier asserted that India and the US will have a very transparent dialogue. "We will discuss anything that they bring up, and certainly, there'll be issues we bring up," he had said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that India is the US' only major defence partner. Read more here
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said ahead of the 2+2 dialogue that he anticipates that India will bring up the purchase of the S-400 air defence system from Russia. Click here
to find out more.