Pompeo, Esper arrive right now for two+2 amid LAC tensions


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 25

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper will arrive here on Monday to hold the third India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue the next day with their counterparts S Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh against the backdrop of tensions on the border with China showing no signs of subsiding.

The 2+2 dialogue with India, reserved by the US for its closest allies, follows closely on the heels of the second ministerial meeting of the Quad group, also involving India and the US along with Australia and Japan, which seeks to deter Chinese expansionism in the Indo-Pacific. The meeting also comes ahead of a major display of naval strength by the Quad countries next month.

Officials from both sides have said besides discussion on bilateral and regional issues, the four ministers will dwell on a closer Indo-US partnership in intelligence sharing, space, energy and people-to-people contact.

India, however, is not the sole focus area for the Americans. Pompeo will then travel to Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia. All three countries sit astride vital sea lanes of communication and have not been warm to US overtures for a stronger bilateral security and economic alliance.

Pompeo and Esper will also call on PM Narendra Modi and meet National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

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Space and energy ties on the table

  • Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper will meet Indian counterparts S Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh
  • The four will dwell on advancing bilateral and regional ties
  • They will also discuss partnership in intelligence sharing, space, energy and people-to-people contact



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