US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper will arrive in India for the third India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue on Tuesday that focuses on a Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and expansion in cooperation to promote stability and prosperity in the India-Pacific and the world.
The Indian side will be represented by the Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar and Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
The holding of the third US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue demonstrates the high-level commitment the two countries provide to shared diplomatic and security objectives, US State Department said on Sunday.
Taking to Twitter, Pompeo said, "Wheels up for my trip to India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia. Grateful for the opportunity to connect with our partners to promote a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific composed of independent, strong, and prosperous nations."
Pompeo and Esper will hold meetings with Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh for the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.
The visiting leaders will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hold discussions with other government and business leaders on ways to advance the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, it said.
The United States welcomes India's emergence as a leading regional and global power, the US State Department said ahead of the 2+2 ministerial in New Delhi.
It also said the US is looking forward to work closely with India during the latter's upcoming UNSC term, starting January 1, 2021.
"The United States welcomes India's emergence as a leading regional and global power. The United States looks forward to collaborating closely with India during its upcoming term on the UN Security Council," the State Department said in a fact sheet before the start of the 3rd 2+2 India US ministerial meet.
In a fact sheet, the State Department said the two countries have a strong and growing bilateral relationship built on shared values and a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
As the world's oldest and largest democracies, the United States and India enjoy deeply rooted democratic traditions, it added.
"The growth in the partnership reflects a deepening strategic convergence on a range of issues. Our cooperation is expanding in important areas including health, infrastructure development, energy, aviation, science, and space," it said, adding that holding the third US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in just over two years demonstrates a high-level commitment to their shared diplomatic and security objectives.
President Donald Trump made a historic visit to India earlier this year, speaking in Ahmedabad before over 100,000 people.
Pompeo's visit marks the fourth visit to India by a Secretary of State during the Trump Administration.
What's on agenda?
The India-US 2+2 talks will focus on four themes -- regional security cooperation, defense information sharing, military-to-military interactions, and defense trade, said the US State Department on Friday.
The first two 2+2 Ministerial dialogues had been held in New Delhi in September 2018 and Washington DC in 2019.
According to the US State Department, the recent Quadrilateral Ministerial meeting in Tokyo convened by Pompeo and his counterparts from India, Japan, and Australia, demonstrated the strong cooperative ties among Indo-Pacific democracies interested in strengthening a rules-based order in which all nations are sovereign, strong, and prosperous.
"The Quad has proven to be an effective multilateral mechanism, helping to create resilient supply chains, promote transparency, counter disinformation and increase maritime security," it said.
India, with its large economy, strong support for entrepreneurship and innovation, and its growing international trade, is one of the world's leading economic powers and is well-positioned to promote our shared vision for a free and rules-based Indo-Pacific where all nations can prosper, it said.
Observing that India and the US are expanding cooperation between the two militaries, the fact sheet said this includes the navies, which play a critical role in ensuring freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific.
In July 2020, the Indian Navy successfully completed a passing exercise with the US Navy as the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group transited through the Indian Ocean Region.
In 2019, the US and India held their first-ever tri-service exercise, Tiger Triumph, in which the US Navy and Marines, Air Force, and Army participated in a bilateral exercise with their Indian counterparts. The United States welcomes Australia joining the Malabar naval exercise alongside India and Japan, it added.
Noting that defence trade has increased significantly over the past two decades, the State Department said India maintains the largest fleets of C-17 and P-8 aircraft outside the United States and as of 2020, the United States has authorized more than $20 billion in defence sales to India.
"The United States and India enjoy robust defence industrial cooperation. Through the US- India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, the United States and India work together on co-production and co-development of defence equipment," it said.