Jim Mattis on 2+2 talks said that “Anticipate India will bring up Russia Missile Deal”

United States Defence Secretary Jim Mattis expressed that he is all set to discuss “anything” at the opening of 2+2 dialogue and predicts that the purchase issue of S-400 Russian Missile system would be brought up by the delegation of India.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Jim Mattis arrived in New Delhi, India to hold the opening of 2+2 dialogue with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The dialogue focus would be to intensify strategic ties as well as determine differences over defence engagement of India with Russia and importing of crude oil from Iran.

Mr. Mattis told Indian reporters that “Certainly, the S-400s will probably be brought up. I anticipate it’ll be brought up by India, by the way.” 2+2 dialogue is scheduled for 6th and 7th September.

Jim Mattis expects that the United States and India will have a transparent conversation and he said that it is a conversation between sovereign and two co-equal nations as well. “We will discuss anything that they bring up, and certainly, there’ll be issues we bring up,” he added.

Responding to the question of the decision of India to purchase S-400 Russian Missile Defence system, he reports that freedom meant that at times and countries did not agree with each other.

Mr. Mattis “that doesn’t mean we can’t be partners. That doesn’t mean we don’t respect the sovereignty of those nations. So I’m sure it will come up there, but it’s right that I not speak here before I’ve even heard their point. So first, I want to listen to my counterpart.”

He further added that the United States and India have been disusing the way to communicate everything more openly.

Mr. Mattis said that “because of the sensitivity of some of the technology, we have to know that when we share this with another like-minded nation, that we can keep it secure, just like we do when the Navy talks to the US Army. It no different”

He further exclaimed that “You maintain security over this kind of technology. We’ll be talking to them about this. There’s been a lot of work done by our staffs. They have their own processes for approval of something like this. We have ours. No two nations have exactly the same authority levels or organizations that have to check off – check the box, and also, we’ll see where each other at on that.”

The reply indicates that the two nations are few steps behind still in singing the major foundational agreement, which includes mainly on communication, said, Mr. Mattis.

“I think that we’re pretty much there already, on the American side. We’ll see where they’re at. Our staff’s been meeting, and once we get that put in place, that does give us the opportunity to share some of the sensitive technology,” he added.

by Chandrani Sarkar on September 6, 2018

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