India Abroad

Once Again, US 'Postpones' 2+2 Talks With India, US Secy Of State Mike Pompeo Expresses Regret

| June 28 , 2018 , 09:48 IST

The United States on Wednesday once again 'postponed' the much anticipated high-level 2+2 talks with India, on the same day that reports surfaced of the US asking India to stop all oil purchases from Iran by November.

The talks had been scheduled for July 6 in Washington between India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and their US counterparts, the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis.

The spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar announced the postponement of the the 2+2 Dialogue on twitter, due to 'unavoidable reasons' cited by the US.

"US Secretary of State spoke to EAM Sushma Swaraj a short while ago to express his regret and deep disappointment at the US having to postpone the 2+2 Dialogue for unavoidable reasons," tweeted Kumar.

“US Secretary of State sought EAM Sushma Swaraj understanding, and they agreed to identify new mutually convenient dates to hold the Dialogue at the earliest, in India or the US,” he added.

After the reports of the postponement of the 2+2 dialogue, a US state department spokesperson reaffirmed the importance of the US-India relationship.

“The US.-India relationship is a major priority for this administration, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership,” adding that the 2+2 dialogue “would be rescheduled as soon as possible at a mutually convenient time and location.”

Previously in March, a 2+2 dialogue was in the planning but had to be “postponed” after the then US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired.

The current postponement of the high-level talks comes at a time when the US-India relations are facing pressure, with the US warning of sanctions on India for continuing to deal with Iran and for India's defence procurement plans from Russia.