Washington, DC – One of the top State Department officials told the United States lawmakers that the US was looking forward to the rescheduled ”two-plus-two” dialogue with India in New Delhi in September this year.
Participating in a Congressional hearing, Alice Wells, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, said, “On India, we’re looking ahead to the September 6th two plus two and the joining of forces between Secretary (of State Mike) Pompeo and (Defense) Secretary (James) Mattis to help define what (is) major defense partnership.”
Secretary Wells, while responding to a question from Congressman Ami Bera (of Indian heritage), added, “We’re working together hand in glove diplomatically and militarily to build out the dimensions of what Secretary Pompeo said is one of our most critical relationships.”
Last month, the US had postponed the dialogue due to “unavoidable reasons,” and there are speculations of tensions over numerous subjects including Iran. The dialogue, which has been rescheduled at least twice since it was announced last year during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with President Donald Trump.
Expressing high hopes from repeatedly rescheduled dialogue, Wells said, “We’re going to be able to demonstrate both in terms of the progress we make on the agreements we can reach that will make it easier for US to share classified information and undertake logistical activities together.”
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are scheduled to host their counterparts Pompeo and Mattis on September 6 in Delhi.