Sushma, Kerry to hold first ministerial meet of India-US strategic dialogue

New Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS) Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to America, India and the US are to hold the first ministerial meeting of the India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) in Washington on September 22, with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj leading the Indian delegation.

The dialogue is the most comprehensive mechanism for discussion and deliberation on the specifics of bilateral agenda of cooperation in different fields.

India and the US launched the ministerial-level strategic dialogue in July 2009. Its first meeting was held in Washington in June 2010, followed by successive rounds in New Delhi (July 2011), Washington D.C. (June 2012) and New Delhi (June 2013 and July 2014).

The decision to elevate the dialogue into a Strategic and Commercial Dialogue was taken during the visit of US President Barack Obama to India in January 2015.

Sushma Swaraj will lead the Indian delegation to the S&CD.

The delegation includes Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Power Minister Piyush Goyal.

The Indian delegation will have senior officials from various ministries/departments of the central government, said an official statement.

The US delegation would include Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.

They will be accompanied by a high-level inter-agency delegation.

During the dialogue, many bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest would be discussed between the two sides.

The dialogue is expected to review the entire gamut of bilateral relations between India and the US and also identify possible areas for future cooperation including in strategic, defence and security, energy and environment, science and technology and space, health, education and human development, third country engagement, economy and finance, and trade and investment fields.

The following bilateral dialogue mechanisms are also being held on the sidelines of the S&CD:

Official level Sub Group Meeting of India-US Energy Dialogue (September 17-18), Secretary-level India-US Health Dialogue (September 17-18), Ministerial India-US Energy Dialogue (September 21), India-US CEO Forum (September 21), Secretary-level India-US Joint Working Group on Climate Change (September 21).

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