India 2 plus 2 dialogue to take place on Thursday

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India is expected to convey to the USA during the upcoming "two-plus-two" talks that it is going ahead with the Rs 400 billion deal with Russian Federation to procure a batch of S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems, notwithstanding the American sanctions on military transactions with Moscow, official sources said Sunday. "We have discussed terror emanating from Pakistan and have agreed that Pakistan needs to do a lot more to curb terror originating from it", Swaraj said. The COMCASA will help India obtain critical and encrypted defence technologies for Indian defence platforms from the US.

The two sides also reviewed cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and agreed to work together toward a free, open and inclusive region, based on recognition of ASEAN centrality and on respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, rule of law, good governance, free and fair trade and freedom of navigation and overflight.

"A decision has been take to establish a hotline between both the foreign ministers and defence ministers through which Secretary Pompeo and I, Secretary Mattis and Nirmala ji, will be able to stay in touch constantly", Ms Swaraj said.

Sitharaman in her opening remarks said that defence cooperation established itself as one of the most significant dimensions of the countries' relationship. "The discussions are a work in progress", the official said.

In a tweet, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the dialogue was a reflection of shared commitment of the two countries to provide a positive, forward-looking vision to their strategic partnership and rowing convergence on important issues.

This was an important issue for India because it wanted a safeguard against the U.S. using the Comcasa tool to limit or influence Indian decision-making in deployment and use of the US-origin equipment.

They came amid a series of divisive issues, including Washington's demands that India stop buying Iranian oil and a Russian air-defence system and news reports that President Donald Trump had privately mimicked the accent of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Iran reached a deal with originally six world powers in 2015, agreeing to curb its nuclear program in return for mainly the lifting of restrictions on its oil sales.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj attend a joint news conference after a meeting in New Delhi, India, September 6, 2018.

Since the U.S. brought the Indo-Pacific strategy into the spotlight, it has been wooing India, hoping New Delhi can become an important pillar to deal with challenges from China. The United States has emerged as India's second largest arms supplier, closing $15 billion worth of deals in the past decade.

There are sticking points, however, including the purchase of the Russian S-400 ground-to-air missile system, which could trigger USA sanctions on India.

Some sanctions came in effect on August 6 and the rest, notably in the petroleum sector, will take hold on November 4.

MEA Spokesperson Kumar called the meeting between Swaraj and Pompeo a "productive" engagement.

The sides also chose to increase "information-sharing efforts on known or suspected terrorists", the joint statement issued after the meeting said. "And so very consistent what President Trump is seeking all around the world are the things we talked about with our Indian counterparts here today", Pompeo said in response to a question.

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