Update at 3:32 PM: Here is the full text of the Joint statement:
Joint Statement on the Inaugural India-U.S 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue
September 06, 2018
Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman welcomed Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis to India on September 6, 2018 for the inaugural India-U.S. Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue. They welcomed the launch of the 2+2 Dialogue as a reflection of the shared commitment by Prime Minister Modi and President Trump to provide a positive, forward-looking vision for the India-U.S. strategic partnership and to promote synergy in their diplomatic and security efforts. They resolved to continue meetings in this format on an annual basis.
Celebrating over 70 years of diplomatic cooperation, the Ministers reaffirmed their view that India and the United States, as sovereign democracies founded on the values of freedom, justice, and commitment to the rule of law, must continue to lead global efforts to promote peace, prosperity, and security.
Recognizing their two countries are strategic partners, major and independent stakeholders in world affairs, the Ministers committed to work together on regional and global issues, including in bilateral, trilateral, and quadrilateral formats. The two sides further decided to establish secure communication between the Minister of External Affairs of India and the U.S. Secretary of State, and between the Minister of Defence of India and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, to help maintain regular high-level communication on emerging developments.
Strengthening the Defense and Security Partnership
The Ministers reaffirmed the strategic importance of India’s designation as a Major Defense Partner (MDP) of the United States and committed to expand the scope of India’s MDP status and take mutually agreed upon steps to strengthen defense ties further and promote better defense and security coordination and cooperation. They noted the rapid growth in bilateral defense trade and the qualitative improvement in levels of technology and equipment offered by the United States to India in recent years. They welcomed the inclusion of India by the United States among the top tier of countries entitled to license-free exports, re-exports, and transfers under License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA-1) and also committed to explore other means to support further expansion in two-way trade in defense items and defense manufacturing supply chain linkages. They welcomed the signing of a Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that will facilitate access to advanced defense systems and enable India to optimally utilize its existing U.S.-origin platforms. The Ministers also announced their readiness to begin negotiations on an Industrial Security Annex (ISA) that would support closer defense industry cooperation and collaboration.
Recognizing their rapidly growing military-to-military ties, the two sides committed to the creation of a new, tri-services exercise and to further increase personnel exchanges between the two militaries and defense organizations. The Ministers reviewed the recent growth of bilateral engagements in support of maritime security and maritime domain awareness, and committed to expand cooperation. Toward that end, the Ministers committed to start exchanges between the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and the Indian Navy, underscoring the importance of deepening their maritime cooperation in the western Indian Ocean.
Acknowledging the unique role of technology in the India-U.S. defense partnership, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to continue to encourage and prioritize co-production and co-development projects through the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), and to pursue other avenues of defense innovation cooperation. In this regard, they welcomed the conclusion of a Memorandum of Intent between the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defence Innovation Organization – Innovation for Defence Excellence (DIO-iDEX).
Welcoming the expansion of bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation, the Ministers announced their intent to increase information-sharing efforts on known or suspected terrorists and to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2396 on returning foreign terrorist fighters. They committed to enhance their ongoing cooperation in multilateral fora such as the UN and FATF. They reaffirmed their support for a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that will advance and strengthen the framework for global cooperation and reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism. The Ministers denounced any use of terrorist proxies in the region, and in this context, they called on Pakistan to ensure that the territory under its control is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries. On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, they called on Pakistan to bring to justice expeditiously the perpetrators of the Mumbai, Pathankot, Uri, and other cross-border terrorist attacks. The Ministers welcomed the launch of a bilateral dialogue on designation of terrorists in 2017, which is strengthening cooperation and action against terrorist groups, including Al-Qa’ida, ISIS, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizb-ul Mujahideen, the Haqqani Network, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, D-Company, and their affiliates. The two sides further reaffirmed their commitment to ongoing and future cooperation to ensure a stable cyberspace environment and to prevent cyber-attacks.
Partners in the Indo-Pacific and Beyond
The Ministers reviewed cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, noting that the common principles for the region articulated in the India-U.S. Joint Statement of June 2017 have been further amplified by President Donald Trump at Danang, Vietnam on November 10, 2017, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Singapore at the Shangri-La Dialogue on June 1, 2018. Both sides committed to work together and in concert with other partners toward advancing a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, based on recognition of ASEAN centrality and on respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, rule of law, good governance, free and fair trade, and freedom of navigation and overflight. Noting the importance of infrastructure and connectivity for the Indo-Pacific region, both sides emphasized the need to work collectively with other partner countries to support transparent, responsible, and sustainable debt financing practices in infrastructure development.
The Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to a united, sovereign, democratic, inclusive, stable, prosperous, and peaceful Afghanistan. The two sides expressed support for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. The United States acknowledged India’s longstanding and ongoing contributions of economic assistance to Afghanistan and also welcomed India’s enhanced role in Afghanistan’s development and stabilization.
India welcomed the recent U.S.-North Korea summit. The two sides pledged to work together to counter North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs and to hold accountable those countries that have supported them.
The United States welcomed India’s accession to the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Missile Technology Control Regime and reiterated its full support for India’s immediate accession to the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Promoting Prosperity and People-to-People Ties
The Ministers recognized the importance and the potential for increasing bilateral trade, investment, innovation, and job creation in both countries. Both sides committed to further expanding and balancing the trade and economic partnership consistent with their leaders’ 2017 joint statement, including by facilitating trade, improving market access, and addressing issues of interest to both sides. In this regard, both sides welcomed the ongoing exchanges between the Ministry of Commerce of India and the Office of the United States Trade Representative and hoped for mutually acceptable outcomes.
Both sides looked forward to full implementation of the civil nuclear energy partnership and collaboration between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Westinghouse Electric Company for the establishment of six nuclear power plants in India.
Observing the strong ties of family, education, and business, and the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that unite their people, the Ministers highlighted the unmatched people-to-people ties between their countries and recognized the benefits to both nations and the world from these ties, including the free flow of ideas and collaboration in health, space, oceans, and other areas of science and technology.
The next 2+2 meeting is to be held in the United States in 2019.
September 06, 2018
Update at 3:04 PM: This has further bolstered our defence cooperation. We appreciated India's role as a stabilising factor in the front line of region. We will continue to work to make India our closest ally and partner. The COMCASA deepens our mil to mil ties a d helps us transfer state of art technology: James Mattis, U.S. Secretary of Defence
Update at 2:59 PM: In today's meeting we reaffirmed to cooperate in every possible way to ensure peace, prosperity and development. Also pledged to continue cooperation against terrorism and other security challenges: Nirmala Sitharaman, Raksha Mantri
Update at 2:57 PM: We have just completed a most productive meeting today. We deeply value their support for stringer Indo-US ties. The commitment of India and US to expand on our common interest is clear and unwavering. We decided to work in all common interests. We will work together to combat persisting threat of terror. Defence coop has emerged as most significant of our strategic partnership.It has elevated india and US ties to unprecedented height: Nirmala Sitharaman, Raksha Mantri
Update at 2:49 PM: India welcomes US role against Pakistan sponsored terror across LoC. India and US have spoken about terror group LeT and mastermind of 26/11 attacks: Sushma Swaraj
Update at 2:47 PM: H1B Visa raised with US. Friendship between Trump and Modi reflects that no decision would be taken against the interest of the Indian people: Sushma Swaraj
Update at 2:46 PM: India and US decide to jointly work for India’s membership into the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Update at 2:44 PM: We have recently scrutinised the recent Issues between us. India has shown utter responsibility towards imports and exports between two countries: Sushma Swaraj
Update at 2:34 PM: India and US have signed the COMCASA deal.
Update at 2:20 PM: India-US joint statement shortly. Mike Pompeo, James Mattis, Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman to arrive at MEA Briefing Hall.
Update at 2:04 PM: Signing ceremony arrangements made at MEA ahead of Joint Statement of India and US. India, US likely to sign an agreement on COMCASA. The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement will improve interoperability of the two forces.
Update at 12:30 PM: Thank your for hosting this inaugural 2+2. We share your confidence in strengthening this top priority relationship. At this point I do want to express our condolences for the lives lost here in the Kerala floods and also applaud the Indian military for saving so many lives. Our thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. We see India-US relation as a natural partnership between the world’s two largest democracies. Partnership is based on joint strategic interests: US Secretary of Defence, James Mattis
Update at 12:00 PM: Today’s meeting marks a defining moment in our bilateral ties. The commencement of the ministerial 2+2 between India and the United States is a concrete manifestation of the vision of our leaders, PM Modi and President Trump to take the India US relation to a higher trajectory. This meeting is also a reflection of the tremendous progress that we have made in developing our ties over the past few years. At the same time, it is a strong recognition of the immense potential of the bilateral partnership for the benefit of the region and beyond. As Secretary Mattis and I agreed during our brief interaction this morning, defence cooperation has one of the most significant dimensions of our relationship: Nirmala Sitharaman, Raksha Mantri
Update at 11:14 AM: Historic India-US 2+2 dialogue begins in New Delhi at MEA
Update at 10:55 AM: The 2+2 talks between Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sitharaman and Mike Pompoe, James Mattis will begin at 11:05 AM.
Update at 10:53 AM: The bilateral talk between Sushma Swaraj and Mike Pompoe has concluded.
Update at 10:45 AM: At the end of the 2 + 2, Joint Press Statements by 4 leaders at MEA will issue a strong statement against terror and on India-US ties on an upward swing.
Update at 10:43 AM: India, US to talk on Afghanistan. Iran sanctions, China to be discussed during 2+2 as well.
Update at 10:40 AM: India and US to focus on deepening bilateral defence services. A tri-lateral military exercise could be firmed up involving the Army, Air Force and Navy.
Update at 10:39 AM: Sources say that the 2 plus 2 dialogue will also focus on US sanctions against Iran which makes trade with it illegal.
Update at 10:38 AM: Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman's meet with U.S. Secretary of Defence, James Mattis concludes. The two have headed for 2+2 dialogue.
Update at 10:20 AM: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj begins her meeting with U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompoe.
Update at 10:10 AM: The high level meet between Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and U.S. Secretary of Defence, General James Mattis in underway.
The External Affairs Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj, along with Raksha Mantri, Niramala Sitharaman are set to hold the first '2 plus 2' dialogue with U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompoe and U.S. Secretary of Defence, General James Mattis on Thursday in Delhi. One of the major talking points during the whole discussion will be about terrorism.
Nirmala Sitharaman and James Mattis will first hold a bilateral meeting on Thursday morning, which will be followed by talks between Sushma Swaraj and Mike Pompoe. After the respective talks, all four will set together for two sessions of 2+2. Later in the day, the two US officials will meet Prime Minister Narendraa Modi.
Here is the schedule surrounding Pompeo's visit to India:
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Arrives in New Delhi
Thursday, September, 6, 2018
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj holds Bilateral Meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Arrival of US Secretary of Defense James Mattis
Session – 1
Session – 2
Joint Call on the Prime Minister by US Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense
The US delegation emplanes