On 2+2 Talks, China Says "Happy" About India-US Bilateral Ties

Minnie Murray
September 7, 2018

Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis are holding long-delayed talks Thursday with top Indian officials, looking to shore up the alliance with one of Washington's top regional allies.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said discussions were continuing on whether to grant India waivers from USA sanctions on Russian Federation and Iran, reported PTI.

The talks were scheduled to last just a few hours and focus on strategic and security topics.

"That doesn't mean we can't be partners".

India and the USA will also hold a first-ever tri service joint exercise on the east coast of India in 2019, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced. "Given those values, India and the United States have a natural starting point for advancing at free and open Indo-Pacific".

"While he is delicately balancing relations in his geographic neighbourhood with recent tensions with China in Doklam and arms sales with Russia, Modi sees a bright future with the United States", he said in the op-ed.

India is the world's third-biggest oil importer and Iran's second after China. The mechanism was agreed upon by US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the phone in August a year ago, but will only materialize after being cancelled twice for various reasons in April and July.

Sitharaman at the press conference had said: "We have acquired various advanced defence platforms from the US".

Swaraj said both the sides also agreed on working together towards entry of India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). India supports President Trump's South Asia Policy.

Both sides were committed to the full implementation of the civil nuclear energy partnership and collaboration between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Westinghouse Electric Company for the establishment of six nuclear power plants in India, the statement said.

Yesterday, while talking to the travelling press, Mike Pompeo had said that India buying a missile defence system from Russian Federation and oil from Iran would be part of the dialogue but not be the primary focus. "Some countries we don't want this tech to fall in the hands of", Felter said, adding the USA has similar agreements with less than 30 countries.

"In the 10th anniversary of the 26/11 attacks, we recognised the importance of justice and retribution for the masterminds behind this terrorist attack", she said.Sitharaman, in her remarks, said India and the U.S. were committed to work together to combat the "persistent threat of terrorism" and other shared security challenges.

With the 2008 Mumbai attacks marking a decade this year, "we recognized the importance of justice and retribution for the masterminds behind this terrorist attack", Swaraj said, adding that India supported Trump's South Asia Policy that calls for Pakistan to stop its policy of supporting cross-border terrorism.

Pompeo told reporters after the meeting that no resolution had been made on the issue.

The two sides also discussed the ongoing efforts by India and the United States in promoting an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan government-controlled reconciliation process, that brings together all ethnic groups and political formation in that country, the minister added. Khan said later he was optimistic he could reset the relationship with Washington after the USA cut aid payments over Islamabad's alleged failure to combat the country's militants.

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