2+2 talks: India, US to work around Russian missiles, Iran oil

Indo-US 2+2 Dialogue a Chance to Address Specifics in Context of Larger Geo Political Goals

Indo-US 2+2 Dialogue a Chance to Address Specifics in Context of Larger Geo Political Goals

India has almost concluded commercial negotiations with Russian Federation for the missile systems and intends to proceed with it as part of its defences against China, a defence ministry official said.

Actually, the U.S. has responded to India's request by cancelling some security-related aid to Pakistan and adding three Pakistanis with Lashkar-e-Taiba ties to its terror watch list.

Reflecting the importance of India as a strategic ally, Mattis this year renamed the US Pacific Command as the Indo-Pacific Command.

"They will certainly come up, but I don't think they will be the primary focus of what it is we are trying to accomplish here", Pompeo said Tuesday to a question from reporters who are travelling with him to Pakistan and then to India.

According to Wang, on anti-terrorism issues, India will continue to ask the United States to create pressure on Pakistan.

Ashley Tellis, a former senior Bush administration official and longtime India expert said that Trump hasn't given any indication that he will or not exercise the waiver and would remain as a complication in US-India relationship. Similarly, India has also designated Al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS) as terrorist organisations which affect the U.S., sources said. Besides, talks will also cover exchange of intelligence and information.

The US won't issue blanket waivers for arms deals with Russian Federation, and any exemptions from sanctions would require a significant reduction in reliance on Russian Federation arms, a second US official said.

India already has bought US Apache attack helicopters and other gear, and is negotiating to buy armed drones.

Schriver had also escalated the disagreement between India and the US on the S-400 missile to say that if the Indians didn't pay heed to US displeasure, the two leaders, Modi and US President Donald Trump, would have to look at it. Sources added that CATSA is an internal U.S. law and the country is expected to keep in mind its strategic relations with other countries while taking decisions.

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Indian officials previously told Bloomberg that they were willing to cut oil Iranian oil imports up to 50% in order to secure a waiver to continue shipments.

Sources said, USA sanctions on the import of Iranian crude oil and boosting cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region will also be the focus of the talks.

They said there was a possibility that both Russia and India are likely to announce the deal before the annual summit between prime minister Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in October. It has emerged as India's No. 2 weapons supplier, closing $15 billion worth of deals over the last decade. Other countries like Japan, China and South Korea are also holding discussions with the U.S. on Iran sanctions.

The diplomats will also discuss the endless conflict in nearby Afghanistan, where the United States seeks Indian help in humanitarian projects. Sitharaman will be hosting a dinner for Mattis. The first 2+2 dialogue is set to take place in India on September 6, 2018.

Despite the optimism, USA officials acknowledge that the two countries will also discuss significant disagreements.

The meeting was meant to be held earlier this year in Washington, but the Trump administration postponed it twice. "I regret it was my fault the second time".

A senior US defence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the two countries were looking at a carrying out a major joint exercise - involving troops on land, at sea and in the air. "We have a true strategic partner who, frankly, is our only major defence partner, right, the only designated major defense partner, with whom we have a great relationship and who is very important to our success in our Indo-Pacific strategy enormous country with incredibly opportunity and capacity for wealth creation", Pompeo said.

The twice-delayed dialogue was earlier scheduled for July 6 in Washington, but was postponed by the USA on June 27, citing "unavoidable reasons".

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