In view of some media reports suggesting that the US decision to postpone '2+2 dialogue' with India was linked to issues like impact of the sanctions against Iran on New Delhi and India's proposed S-400 missile system deal with Russia, the United States on Thursday clarified that the decision was unrelated to bilateral relationship.
A statement issued by US Embassy in New Delhi said that the scheduling change was prompted by reasons "entirely unrelated to the bilateral relationship".
"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke last night with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to convey his regret for having to postpone the 2+2 dialogue, which had been scheduled for July 6. This scheduling change was prompted by reasons entirely unrelated to the bilateral relationship," the statement said.
The statement further said that both Michael Pompeo and Sushma Swaraj agreed to reschedule the 2+2 dialogue as soon as possible.
"The U.S.-India partnership is a major strategic priority for the Trump Administration. The US remains firmly committed to a strong relationship with India," it added.
News reports had sought to suggest that the sudden decision by the US on Wednesday night to postpone the talks could be due to the fact that New Delhi may find it difficult to stop all oil imports from Iran beyond November this year following sanctions against Teheran on the nuclear issue.
Ihe deferring of the 2+2 dialogue was also sought to be linked to the proposed defence deal with Russia.
But there was no official reason given for why Washington decided on the postponement except to say that there were scheduling problems.
Under the 2+2 dialogue, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were to travel to Washington to hold talks with their US counterparts Michael Pompeo and James Mattis on July 6 on bilateral issues.
(With IANS inputs)