Major blow to US India strategic ties left New Delhi wondering

Major blow to US India strategic ties left New Delhi wondering

NEW DELHI - In what can be termed as a sign of growing chasm between India and the US, Washington postponed the maiden ‘2+2 Dialogue’ with New Delhi on Wednesday.

The crucial meeting, which was scheduled to take place on July 6 was to be attended by External Affairs Minister Suhsma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

In a series of tweets, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that, ‘US Secretary Mike Pompeo spoke to EAM Sushma Swaraj a short while ago to express his regret and deep disappointment at the US having to postpone the 2+2 Dialogue for unavoidable reasons.’

‘Pompeo sought Swaraj understanding, and they agreed to identify new mutually convenient dates to hold the Dialogue at the earliest, in India or the US,’ he added.

This comes at a time when both Washington and new Delhi are embroiled in intense tariff war. On Tuesday, US Presicdent Donald Trump had accused New Delhi of charging as high as 100 per cent tariff on import of American products.

"We have countries where, as an example, India, they charge up as much as 100 per cent tariff. We want the tariffs removed," Trump said.

He was responding to a question in his recent decisions to impose tariffs on import of foreign products. Trump has defended it by arguing that this is in retaliation to the imbalance of trade that the US has with major trading partners including China, the European Union and India.

The new dialogue format was agreed to between the two sides during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington DC on 25-26 June 2017. The two sides were expected to share perspectives on strengthening their strategic and security ties and exchange views on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.