Swaraj, Sitharaman hold talks with U.S. counterparts ahead of 2 plus 2 dialogue

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Ahead of the inaugural two-plus-two dialogue, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held separate meetings Thursday with US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis respectively.

Official sources said a number of key bilateral issues were to be discussed during the meetings. Both Pompeo and Mattis arrived here Wednesday for the inaugural Indo-US two-plus-two talks which was finalised during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington last year.

In a special gesture, Swaraj received Secretary Pompeo at the airport here yesterday while Sitharaman welcomed Secretary Mattis, reflecting the importance India attaches to their visit here.

The officials said the focus of the two-plus-two talks will be to deepen global strategic partnership between the two countries and resolve differences over India’s defence engagement with Russia and crude oil import from Iran.

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