Trump impeachment vote amid US-India 2+2 talks
The first-ever Indo-US ministerial 2+2 dialogue on American soil is expected to be a “highly qualitative and productive” meeting during which some key agreements that will augment the bilateral security ties could be signed, according to senior officials.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar along with defence minister Rajnath Singh would be hosted by their American counterparts Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and defense secretary Mark Esper at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department on Wednesday.
“The 2+2 dialogue is the highest-level institutional mechanism between India and USA that brings together our perspectives on foreign policy, defence and strategic issues. This is the first time such a meeting is taking place in the USA,” said the Indian Ambassador here Harsh Vardhan Shringla. “A lot of progress has been made in the areas of foreign policy and defence between our two countries and we are looking forward to a highly qualitative meeting,” Shringla told PTI ahead of the 2+2 meeting.
Meanwhile, Union minister Rajnath Singh addressed Indian Americans at a gathering in New York on Monday, on his way to Washington DC for the second edition of the 2+2 ministerial meeting. Singh pushed back against criticism of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as anti-Muslim and sought to portray it as a measure meant only for victims of religious persecution in neighbouring Muslim-majority countries that he described as “theocratic”.
The first 2+2 was held in New Delhi September last year after the mechanism was approved by PM Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.The 2+2 on December 18 comes after a record four meetings between Modi and Trump this year.
The fact that the meeting is occurring is a success in itself and testament to the priority both the US and India place on the relationship and cooperating to advance their common interests, said Joe Felter, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia.
The two nations are expected to announce the signing of the Industrial Security Annex , an enabling pact that will allow American manufacturers of defense equipment to work with Indian private sector companies.