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India, US 2+2 Foreign and Defense ministers meet in 3rd week of January

Source : Zee News

India, US 2+2 Foreign and Defense ministers meet in 3rd week of January
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar arrive to speak to the media prior a meeting at the State Department in Washington, DC. Credit: Reuters Photo

The annual India, US 2+2 meet at foreign and defense ministers’ level will take place in the 3rd week of January in Washington.  India’s external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar and defense minister Rajnath Singh will travel to Washington for the meeting.

This is the 4th round of dialogue that is taking place which alternates between New Delhi and Washington. Three rounds of dialogue have taken place between the two sides so far in September 2018, December 2019 and in October 2020. Dialogue this year was proposed in the first week of December but could not materialize.

The 2+2 meet is an annual mechanism at the foreign and defense ministries level between India and the US meant to discuss bilateral ties in defense, strategic and security domains. The inaugural India-US ministerial 2+2 dialogue was held on September 6, 2018 in New Delhi in which the then US secretary of state Michael R. Pompeo and secretary of defense James N. Mattis had visited India to hold dialogue with EAM late Sushma Swaraj and former defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

India has 2+2 mechanisms at foreign and defense ministers’ level with four countries – US, Japan, Australia and Russia. Russia is the only non-Quad member with which India has this mechanism. The maiden Indo-Russia 2+2 meet happened in Delhi on 6th of December, the day that saw Russian President Putin visiting India for the annual India Russia summit.

The dialogue happens in the backdrop of India getting deliveries of the S400 system from Russia which can attract US’s CAATSA – Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions. However, it depends on the US Congress on whether there will be a waiver for India.

2021 saw Indian PM Modi visiting the US for the first in-person Quad –India, US, Australia and Japan meet. Relationships between India and US have increased steadily and become broad-based even as India Russia ties while being traditional, have seen defense and space being only 2 key focus areas.

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