Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sitharaman Hold Talks With US Counterparts Ahead Of 2+2 Dialogue

NEW DELHI — Ahead of the inaugural two-plus-two dialogue, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held separate meetings on Thursday with US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis respectively.

Official sources said a number of key bilateral issues were to be discussed during the meetings.

Both Pompeo and Mattis arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday for the inaugural Indo-US two-plus-two talks which was finalised during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington last year.

In a special gesture, Swaraj received Secretary Pompeo at the airport on Wednesday while Sitharaman welcomed Secretary Mattis, reflecting the importance India attaches to their visit here.

The officials said the focus of the two-plus-two talks will be to deepen global strategic partnership between the two countries and resolve differences over India’s defence engagement with Russia and crude oil imports from Iran.

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