New Delhi, October 21: The third 2+2 ministerial dialogue between India and the United States will be held on October 27, confirmed the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday. The high-level meeting was expected to be held earlier this year, but ended being postponed due to the onset of COVID-19 pandemic. Malabar 2020: Australia Will Join India, Japan and US in the Naval Exercise, Says Defence Ministry.
"US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will be visiting India on 26-27th October, 2020 to participate in the Dialogue. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and EAM S Jaishankar will lead the delegations from the Ministry of Defence and MEA respectively," the MEA said.
2+2 US-India Dialogue on Oct 27: Foreign Ministry
India will host the third India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue on 27 October, 2020 in Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) pic.twitter.com/WBGQnIBeYS
— ANI (@ANI) October 21, 2020
Speculations were rife that the meeting could either be suspended this year, or postponed to early 2021 considering the presidential elections in the US in first week of November. The new administration will takeover from January 20 next year.
The visit to New Delhi last week by by US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun has played a role in early re-scheduling of the 2+2 ministerial meeting, said analysts. Laying the groundwork for the dialogue, Beigun had discussed with Indian officials the ongoing standoff at the LAC with China and the way-ahead for Quad - a loosely stitched coalition of India, Japan, Australia and the US.
"As the United States assesses our own interests and how they intersect with India’s, we have seen the conditions emerge for an organic and deeper partnership, not an alliance on the postwar model but a fundamental alignment along shared security and geopolitical goals, shared interests, and shared values," Biegun had said, adding that "of course, China is the elephant in the room."