Postponement of 2+2 dialogue with India unrelated to bilateral ties: US

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".

Published: 28th June 2018 03:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th June 2018 03:21 PM   |  A+A-

US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley walk towards Baptist Church for a visit in Chandni Chowk in New Delhi on Thursday June 28 2018. | PTI

By PTI

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

In a statement, the US embassy here 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 embassy said.

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

The US Embassy said Secretary Pompeo and 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 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 Pompeo as President Donald Trump's new Secretary of State.

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.

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