U.S. Secretary of State Mike.Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will travel to New Delhi in September for high-level talks that were twice postponed this year, the Indian foreign ministry announced on Friday.
New Delhi, which has sought to counter China's expanding economic and military weight in the region, has also felt a lack of enthusiasm from Washington for ties that had been touted earlier as a "defining partnership".
Pompeo and Mattis will hold talks with India Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sept. 6 in what is known as a 2+2 dialogue to drive political and military.ties, the foreign ministry said.
The talks were set for this month in Washington but Pompeo had to travel to North Korea, forcing a postponement. They were originally delayed from April while Pompeo went through confirmation hearings following the sacking of Rex Tillerson.
The United States has offered India the armed version of drones that were originally authorised for sale as unarmed and for surveillance purposes. If the deal comes to fruition, it would be the first time Washington has sold a large armed drone to a country outside the NATO alliance.
"The 2+2 meeting will cover a broad range of bilateral, regional and global issues of shared interest, with a view to strengthening strategic and security ties between the two countries," the ministry said.
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