Postponement Of High-Level India-US Meet Unrelated To Bilateral Ties: US

The US today said the postponement of the '2+2 dialogue' with India was prompted by reasons entirely unrelated to the bilateral relationship.

Postponement Of High-Level India-US Meet Unrelated To Bilateral Ties: US

The US conveyed to India that the 2+2 dialogue was delayed due to 'unavoidable circumstances'. (File)

New Delhi:

The US today said the postponement of the high-level '2+2 dialogue' with India was prompted by reasons entirely unrelated to the bilateral relationship.

In a statement, the US embassy in New Delhi said the partnership between the two countries was a major strategic priority for the Trump Administration and that it remained firmly committed to a strong relationship with India.

The US had yesterday conveyed to India that it had postponed the dialogue scheduled to be held in Washington next week, due to "unavoidable reasons".

"Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo spoke last night with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to convey his regret for having to postpone the 2+2 dialogue, which had been scheduled for July 6. This scheduling change was prompted by reasons entirely unrelated to the bilateral relationship," the US embassy said.

Ms Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were to travel to the US to take part in the meeting with Mr Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis.

The US Embassy said Secretary Pompeo and Ms Swaraj agreed to reschedule the dialogue as "soon as possible".

"The US-India partnership is a major strategic priority for the Trump Administration. The United States remains firmly committed to a strong relationship with India," the US embassy said.

This new dialogue format was agreed upon between the two sides during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington in June 2017.

The two countries tried to schedule the dialogue many times with several dates having been considered.

Earlier this year as well, the '2+2 dialogue' was postponed due to uncertainty over the confirmation of Mr Pompeo as President Donald Trump's new Secretary of State. Mr Pompeo was later confirmed as Secretary of State in April.

The dialogue was seen as a vehicle to elevate the strategic relationship between the two countries.

The meeting was expected to focus on strengthening strategic, security, and defence cooperation.