India–US 2+2 dialogue 2020 for UPSC

India–US 2+2 dialogue 2020 : India-U.S. likely to have 3rd annual 2+2 dialogue in Delhi on Oct. 26-27, 2020.

What is 2+2 dialogue ?

  • 2+2 dialogue is an annual dialogue between two nations where two appointed ministers (Defence and Foreign) from each country met up to discuss their strategic and security interests.
  • It’s a highest-level institutional mechanism between the two countries.
  • Prior to the US, India had never held a 2+2 dialogue at the Ministerial level with any country. Although at the Secretariat level, India has had similar 2+2 dialogues, with other countries like Japan.
  • USA has such dialogues with Japan and Australia

How its started ?

  • Earlier both countries engaged through India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, to work in the field of sustainable economic growth, create jobs, improve business and investment climate, enhance livelihoods, and sustain the rules-based global order.  
  • According to analysts, India was reluctant to agree to a 2+2 format with the US,  as it was seen as symbolic of close political, military, coordination on regional and global issues. But since 2000, deepened dialogue with the US, changed the context on a wide range of issues.
  • During Trump era it got formally announced in August 2017, the 2+2 dialogue was supposed to take place in January 2018.

Why got delayed?

  • Formally announced in August 2017, the 2+2 dialogue was supposed to take place in January 2018.
  • Officially, the inaugural dialogue was slated for April but it got postponed after the US President fired the then US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
  • The rescheduled dialogue was to be held on the 6th of July 2018, only to be postponed once again, with the new Secretary of State directed by President Donald Trump to travel to North Korea instead to follow up on his own meeting with Kim Jong Un.

Why need of 2+2 dialogue ?

  • to provide a positive, forward-looking vision for the India-U.S. strategic partnership and to promote synergy in their diplomatic and security efforts.
  • As viewed that India and the United States, as sovereign democracies founded on the values of freedom, justice, and commitment to the rule of law, must continue to lead global efforts to promote peace, prosperity, and security.

Backdrop of 2+2 dialogues

  • Signing of the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement in 2008
  • US declaring India as a major defence partner in 2016
  • Supporting India’s membership of the NSG
  • USA declaring India a net security provider in the Indian Ocean
  • USA also announced India strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific.

What range of issues are discuss in this dialogue ?

  • By considering two countries are strategic partners, major and independent stakeholders in world affairs, so its important to work together on regional and global issues, including in bilateral, trilateral, and quadrilateral formats.

Outcome of previous two annual meetings

Strengthening the Defense and Security Partnership:  

  • Both committed to work together on regional and global issues.
  • Both established secure communication (hotlines) between the two Ministers of the countries.
  • India’s designation as US’s Major Defense Partner (MDP) was reaffirmed and India committed to expand scope of MDP status
  • India got inducted by the United States among the top tier of countries entitled to license-free exports, re-exports, and transfers  Strategic Trade Authorization (STA-1)
  • Both signed Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement(COMCASA) will give India access to function on high-end secured and encrypted communication equipment installed on US origin military platforms.
  • Both support closer defense industry cooperation and collaboration by proceeding negotiation on Industrial Security Annex (ISA).
  • Both committed to start exchanges between the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and the Indian Navy, highlight the importance of deepening maritime cooperation in the western Indian Ocean.

People-to-People Ties

  • Both recognized the importance and the potential for increasing bilateral trade, investment, innovation, and job creation in both countries.

Promoting Prosperity

  • Both sides looked forward to full implementation of the civil nuclear energy partnership and collaboration between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Westinghouse Electric Company for the establishment of six nuclear power plants in India. 


  • Both agreed to continue the co-production and co-development of defence projects through the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).


  • Both decided to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2396 on returning foreign terrorist fighters.
  • Both countries reaffirmed their support for a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
  • Both called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory is not used as launch-pad for terrorist attacks on other countries.
  • Both asked Pakistan to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai, Pathankot, Uri, and other cross-border terrorist attacks.
  • India and U.S. also reaffirmed on their cooperation to ensure a stable cyberspace environment.

Indo Pacific area

  • Both support to advancing a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, based on recognition of ASEAN centrality.
  • Finding possibility of QUAD grouping to counter rising China
  • Support on sustainable debt financing practices in infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific region was agreed.


  • India acknowledge recent U.S.-North Korea summit.
  • Both Committed to work together to counter North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs.

Nuclear Ties 

The United States positively responded to India’s accession to the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), this will ease India’s entry into NSG

It also reiterated its full support for India’s immediate accession to the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

India–US 2+2 dialogue 2020

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