The dialogue, the third since the process began in 2018, will cover all bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest, the Ministry of External Affairs said

US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark T Esper will visit India for the third India-U.S. 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue which is being hosted by New Delhi on October 27.

India will be represented by delegations led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement formally announcing the dates for the dialogue.

“The agenda for the third Dialogue will cover all bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest,” the statement said.

The India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, which will be held amid India’s ongoing standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), is likely to see the two sides sign the crucial Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for geospatial cooperation.

Pompeo, who will also be visiting Sri Lanka and Maldives, tweeted that he was looking forward to the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue with Mark Esper and their Indian counterparts.

Mark Asper had also referred to their forthcoming India visit for the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue during a conversation with President Atlantic Council Frederick Kempe on Tuesday. “Established in 2018, these meetings reflect our nations’ ever-increasing convergence on the strategic issues of our time,” he said.

The US Secretary of Defence referred to Tiger Triumph, the first-ever tri-service military exercise held between the two countries in 2019, and the combined exercise with the Indian Navy by the USS Nimitz as it transited the Indian Ocean in July this year. He added that the first ever U.S.-India defense cyber dialogue was held in September.

“Together, these efforts will strengthen what may become one of the most consequential partnerships of the 21st century,” he said during the conversation.

Jaishankar and Pompeo had met on the sidelines of the meeting of foreign ministers of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue in Tokyo, Japan, earlier this month.

Preparations for the ministerial dialogue were discussed when Foreign Secretary HS Shringla met US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Beigun during the latter’s India visit last week.

The first two 2+2 Ministerial Dialogues were held in New Delhi in September 2018 and in Washington DC in 2019.