A two-day Indo-US Military Cooperation Meeting began on Wednesday as a prelude to 2 plus 2 Dialogue between the two countries scheduled next month.
The meeting was co-chaired by Lt Gen Satish Dua, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) and Lt Gen Bryan Fenton, Deputy Commander, Indo-Pacific Command.
"The 2-day 17th Indo-US Military Cooperation Meeting co-chaired by Lt Gen Satish Dua, CISC & Lt Gen Bryan Fenton, Dy Cdr, Indo Pacific Comd has begun today as a prelude to #2+2 Dialogue between the two countries scheduled next month," @HQ_IDS_India, the official handle of the Integrated Defence Staff, tweeted.
The 2-day 17th Indo-US Military Cooperation Meeting co-chaired by Lt Gen Satish Dua, CISC & Lt Gen Bryan Fenton, Dy Cdr, Indo Pacific Comd has begun today as a prelude to #2+2 Dialogue between the two countries scheduled next month @SpokespersonMoD @adgpi @IAF_MCC @indiannavy pic.twitter.com/wYlrLfVZ5P— HQ IDS (@HQ_IDS_India) August 1, 2018
External Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would meet their US counterparts in 2 plus 2 meeting next month, a first such initiative between the two countries that will focus on strengthening defence and strategic ties. India and the US were also working to have a joint drill of all the three armed forces of the two countries.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis would travel to India for the dialogue.
"The United States is pleased to announce that the inaugural US-India '2+2 dialogue' will be held in New Delhi, India, on September 6," State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert had said in a statement.
Pompeo and Mattis "look forward to meeting with their Indian counterparts," Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman, "to discuss strengthening strategic, security and defence cooperation" as the US and India jointly address challenges in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond, Mr Nauert had said.
The dialogue was announced last year during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House. After June last year, the two countries have tried to schedule the dialogue many times with several dates having been considered.
In June, the US postponed the dialogue scheduled to be held in Washington due to "unavoidable reasons".
The dialogue is seen as a vehicle to elevate the strategic relationship between the two countries.
(With PTI inputs)