Washington: A week after the India-US 2+2 Dialogue in New Delhi, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is in Washington to hold meetings with top officials of the Trump Administration. Doval is scheduled to meet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department Friday.
In addition to his meeting with his American counterpart John Bolton, Doval is likely to meet officials from the Department of Defence and from the think-tank community.
However, the Indian embassy in Washington and the White House did not immediately respond to questions about Doval’s visit and his meetings.
“India is a very close friend of the United States," State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters at her daily news conference. She had accompanied Pompeo to New Delhi last week for the 2+2 Dialogue.
“We have among the strongest people-to-people ties. I think there are more than 3 million Indian Americans living here in the United States, so that was certainly part of the meetings and the conversations," she said in response to a question.
The signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement or COMCASA last week, she said, was something important that had been in the making for a long time. “So we were pleased to have signed that (COMCASA) with the Indian government because that not only supports jobs but also supports better military-to-military cooperation. They also agreed to doing more work on the military-to-military front," Nauert said.
During the meetings, discussions are likely to be primarily focused on security in the Af-Pak region, in particular related to counter-terrorism. It is understood that the visit is likely to lay the groundwork of the potential visit of President Donald Trump to India.
Trump has accepted an invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit India. The two sides are currently looking at various dates, including Trump as chief guest at the Republic Day Parade on 26 January 2019.
Responding to a question on Pompeo’s trip to Pakistan, the spokesperson said the Secretary of State had some meaningful and important meetings with the new government.