Issues like enhancing trade, ways to counter terrorism and India’s concerns over the Trump administration’s decision to make changes in the H1B visa programme are expected to figure in 2 plus 2 dialogue between India and the US.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis in New Delhi for the 2 plus 2 dialogue on Thursday.
Sources said, US sanctions on the import of Iranian crude oil and boosting cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region will also be the focus of the talks.
India will try to get Secretary Pompeo’s view about the new government in Pakistan. Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford will also be part of the US delegation.
Sushma Swaraj will have a separate bilateral meeting with Mike Pompeo while Nirmala Sitharaman will have a one-on-one meeting with James Mattis on Thursday morning before the delegation-level two-plus-two talks.
Mr Pompeo and Mr Mattis will also call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the visit. Boosting defence and security cooperation will also be a priority.
On US sanctions on the import of Iranian oil, the sources said India will explain to the US its position on the issue, including how the import has been crucial for India’s energy security.
Both sides will discuss the long-pending Communications, Compatibility, Security Agreement, COMCASA. It will help India obtain critical and encrypted defence technologies for Indian defence platforms from the US.