The United States of America and India are likely to review their strategic and security ties and discuss ways to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific during the third round of the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue set to be held tomorrow here.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and defence secretary Mark Esper have already arrived in New Delhi this afternoon for the crucial dialogue with their Indian counterparts External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
The talks will be held in a Covid compliant format at Hyderabad House keeping in view the need for adequate social distancing, according to a statement of Indian External Affairs Ministry here.
The dialogues come eight months after US President Donald Trump's visit to India and days before the country's (US) presidential election.
According to US State Department statement issued on Tuesday that the talks will focus on four themes- regional security cooperation, defence information sharing, military-to-military interactions, and defense trade.
Before leaving for India, Pompeo had tweeted that he is grateful for the opportunity to connect with our partners.
"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 #IndoPacific composed of independent, strong, and prosperous nations," he said in the tweet.
During their two-day visit, Pompeo and Esper will hold bilateral talks with their Indian counterparts S Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh and meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Adviser AjitDoval.
Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper while confirming his visit to India said "the visit is part of a broader US initiative to strengthen older alliances and develop new ones against Russian and Chinese efforts to build their own global power networks".
During the visit, India and the US are expected to sign the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for geospatial cooperation during the dialogue.
They will also visit Sri Lanka and the Maldives, as America seeks to balance China's growing influence in the region, media report said here.
This will be the third edition of the India-US 2+2 that with India hosting the first in 2018 in New Delhi; the United States hosted the second in Washington DC in 2019.