Ajit Doval is already in Washington to hold discussions with top-level US officials to tighten the defense cooperation between the two nations.
The postponed two-plus-two dialogue between the foreign and defense ministers of India and the US is likely to take place in either May or June.
The Economic Times reported that both the countries are planning to hold a senior ministerial-level meeting in April to avoid losing the momentum of bilateral strategic discussions. The meeting is expected to set the stage for the first two-plus-two dialogue between both the countries.
The meeting scheduled for April 18 and 19 had to be postponed after President Donald Trump fired Secretary of the State Rex Tillerson earlier this month. The new Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo can take charge only after completing his confirmation hearing by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) has said that the panel would hold the confirmation hearing for Pompeo next month. A Reuters report stated that the incoming Secretary of the State would be dealing with issues like the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran immediately after assuming charge. So, the two-plus-two ministerial dialogue may be further delayed.
The Indian government is taking proactive steps to maintain the momentum of discussions taking into account the political developments in the US.
India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval is already in Washington to hold discussions with top-level US officials to tighten the defense cooperation between the two nations.
Doval will meet his US counterpart HR McMaster, Pompeo, and CIA director-designate Gina Haspel. Doval is expected to hold discussions with the US officials on the security environment in Asia, especially the recent developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan region, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and China.
Meanwhile, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba is on a five-day visit to the US during which he will hold discussions with top-level officials including Defense Secretary James Mattis.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and Defense Secretary Sanjay Mitra have already completed the preparatory meetings for the two-plus-two dialogue.