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Tuesday 04 Sep 2018 03.39 PM

India, US to discuss range of crucial issues during 2+2 talks

India, US

New Delhi : A raft of key issues such as the US' sanctions on import of Iranian crude oil, boosting cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and finalising a pact on encrypted defence technologies will be the focus of the inaugural two-plus-two talks between India and the US here on Thursday, official sources said.

India's plan to ink a Rs 40,000 crore deal with Russia to procure a batch of S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems may also figure in the talks, the sources indicated Tuesday. Issues like enhancing trade, effectively dealing with terrorism and India's concerns over the Trump administration's decision to make changes in the H1B visa programme are also expected to figure prominently in the talks, they said.

Under the new framework finalised last year, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hold talks with the US Secretary of State Mike R Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis. As Secretary Pompeo arrives here tomorrow from Islamabad, India will also try to get his view about the new government in Pakistan headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the sources said.

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford will also be part of the US delegation.Swaraj will have a separate bilateral meeting with Pompeo while Sitharaman will have a one-on-one meeting with Mattis on Thursday morning before the delegation-level two-plus-two talks. PTI

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