Washington: The much-hyped India-US two-plus-two dialogue has been postponed as of now due to uncertainty over the confirmation of the nomination of Mike Pompeo, as the new Secretary of State.
The first two-plus-two dialogue between India and the US was tentatively scheduled for 18-19 April. The launch of the two-plus-two dialogue was announced last summer when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House.
India’s foreign and defence secretaries were in Washington DC early this week for preparatory talks with their American counterparts. The Indian delegation landed here amidst the dismissal of Rex Tillerson as the Secretary of State by Trump.
The two-plus-two dialogue was considered as a vehicle to elevate the strategic relationship between the two countries.
After June last year, the two countries have tried at several dates for this dialogue including sometime in November and December. Officials also checked for a time in January this year, but both sides were having a tough time in finding the time when all the four leaders were available. It was finally in February this year that two-days in mid-April were considered in for the talks.
Pompeo needs to be approved by the Senate. Spring recess of the Congress begins on 22 March and lawmakers would begin their legislative business on 2 April. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which holds the confirmation hearing, has not scheduled it on its calendar yet.
The new dates will now be decided once Secretary of State Pompeo occupies the headquarters of the State Department and settles down as the top American diplomat.