All eyes on 2+2 Indo-US Dialogue as Iran and Af-Pak issues set to figure

New Delhi:  All eyes will be on the much-expected and the inaugural Indo-US 2+2 dialogue on September 6 in Delhi when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will host their counterparts US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Defence Secretary James Matis respectively.

However, the US has chosen to stick to its oft-repeated track and its better known as throwback policy

as Mr Pompeo will land in Islamabad on September 5 to engage with new dispensation there headed by Mr Imran Khan.

Mr Khan, 65, was sworn in as Pakistan’s 22nd Prime Minister in Islamabad on Saturday.

The US, which has accused Islamabad of providing “safe haven” to the terrorists who kill American soldiers in Afghanistan and ordered nosedive in fund allocations, welcomed the new Prime Minster and said that it was looking forward to work with new civilian government to promote peace and prosperity in the country and in the region.

“For over 70 years, the relationship between the United States and Pakistan has been a vital one,” the statement added.

The 2+2 Dialogue between India and the US was postponed twice earlier essentially on time factor. This meeting between Indian top leaders and the US for 2+2 Dialogues will be the first meeting between Indian side and the US Secretary of State and former CIA Chief Michael Pompeo who replaced Rex Tillerson.

The geo-strategic situation in the Af-Pak region and on the global context will figure prominently along with Indian concerns on developing and operating the strategic Chabahar port and its significance for Afghanistan.

The Iran issue is likely to figure for more reasons than one.

The US Secretary of State has enlisted the services of Brian Hook as special representative for Iran.

Hook has recently said that the US wants to reduce every country’s import of Iranian oil – that includes India too – to zero by November 4.

Both Mr Pompeo and Mr Matis will also call on Prime Minister Modi.

The US sanctions on Iran have actually hit the shipping companies, banking channels and payment mechanisms.

Matters related to enhanced defence ties will also figure as the Trump administration has placed India in the Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1 ) list, that eases the export of high-tech items to it, is a sign of trust by the US on India’s capabilities as an economic and a security partner.

‘This regulatory change will enhance the bilateral defense trade relationship and result in a greater volume of US exports to India,’ the US has announced


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