United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper will arrive in India to hold a third 2+2 ministerial dialogue with their counterparts S Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh. The meeting has been scheduled at a time when India is facing a border conflict with China.

The US does a 2+2 dialogue only with its closest allies. The Tuesday meeting will be a follow up to the Quad group meet, which involved Australia and Japan as well. The Quad group seeks to deter Chinese expansionism. The four countries will put their naval strength on a major display next month.

Apart from discussing bilateral issues, the 2+2 dialogue between Indian and the American ministers will also cover a closer Indo-US partnership in the field of intelligence sharing, energy and space.

During their visit, Pompeo and Esper will also meet PM Narendra Modi and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

“The United States welcomes India’s emergence as a leading regional and global power. The United States looks forward to collaborating closely with India during its upcoming term on the UN Security Council,” the State Department said in a release.

After their visit to India, Pompeo and Esper will travel to Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Maldives. All three of these countries are important for the sea lanes of communication. None of these countries have shown warmth to the US because of the bilateral security and a reserved economic alliance.