What is 2+2 dialogue: Importance in International Politics - Seeker's Thoughts

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What is 2+2 dialogue: Importance in International Politics


What is 2+2 dialogue: Importance in International Politics

In foreign policy, ‘2+2’ is the term used for installation of a communication or a dialogue mechanism between two countries while involving the two ministries- The Ministry of Defence and Ministry of External Affairs.
Therefore, 2 plus 2 is an expression used to indicate that two appointed ministers from each country, the minister of defence and external affair will meet and discuss the ‘Strategic and Security Issues’.
The purpose is to establish a diplomatic conversation between two countries’ respective heads of defence and external affairs.
Japan is known to draw from the format 2+2 dialogue has to offer for years now. India and Japan too have a similar mechanism between them since 2010.  Japan leans on this mechanism for developing strategic interactions with the U.S, France, Russia and Australia. On the other hand, India has established the 2+2 dialogue primarily with Japan and now with US.
What is the outline of the recent India-US initiative Relations and 2plus2?
 India and U.S have established new 2+2 ministerial dialogue to enhance strategic coordination between them and maintaining peace and stability in the into-pacific region. Two countries have to sign in Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA).

The two sides further decided to establish secure communication between the Minister of External Affairs of India and the U.S. Secretary of State, and between the Minister of Defence of India and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, to help maintain regular high-level communication on emerging developments.

Strengthening the Defense and Security Partnership:
  • The Ministers welcomed the inclusion of India by the United States among the top tier of countries entitled to license-free exports, re-exports, and transfers under License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA-1) and committed to explore other means to support further expansion in two-way trade in defense manufacturing supply chain linkages.
  • They welcomed the signing of a Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), facilitate access to advanced defense systems and enable India to optimally utilize its existing U.S. origin platforms.
  • The Ministers announced their readiness to begin negotiations on an Industrial Security Annex (ISA) that would support closer defense industry cooperation and collaboration.
  • After recognizing the recent bilateral engagements, the Ministers committed to start exchanges between the S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and the Indian Navy, underscoring the importance of deepening their maritime cooperation in the western Indian Ocean.
  • Through the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), the ministers committed to prioritize co-production and co-development projects to pursue other avenues of defense innovation cooperation. Further they welcomed the conclusion of a Memorandum of Intent between the S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defense Innovation Organization – Innovation for Defence Excellence (DIO-iDEX).
  • The Ministers announced to increase information-sharing efforts on known or suspected terrorists and to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2396 on returning foreign terrorist fighters.
Partners in the Indo-Pacific and Beyond:
  • The Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to a united, sovereign, democratic, inclusive, stable, prosperous, and peaceful Afghanistan. The two sides expressed their support for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process.
  • India welcomed the recent U.S. – North Korea summit. The two sides pledged to work together to counter North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs and to hold accountable those countries that have supported them.
  • The United States welcomed India’s accession to the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Missile Technology Control Regime and reiterated its full support for India’s immediate accession to the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Promoting Prosperity and People-to People Ties:
  • Both countries committed to further expanding and balancing the trade and economic partnership consistent with their leaders’ 2017 joint statement, including by facilitating trade, improving market access, and addressing issues of interest to both sides.
  • Thus, both sides welcomed the ongoing exchanges between the Ministry of Commerce of India and the Office of the United States Trade Representative and hoped for mutually acceptable outcomes.
  • Both sides looked forward to full implementation of the civil nuclear energy partnership and collaboration between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Westinghouse Electric Company for the establishment of six nuclear power plants in India.
Observing the strong ties of family, education, and business, and the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that unite their people, the Ministers highlighted the unmatched people-to-people ties between their countries and recognized the benefits to both nations and the world from these ties, including the free flow of ideas and collaboration in health, space, oceans, and other areas of science and technology.
The next 2+2 meeting is to be held in the United States in 2019.
COMCASA- It will facilitate exchange of secure communications between the two militaries and allow the sale of encrypted communication system to India; However, India was insecure about privacy.
Another important aspect of discussion between US and India remains CAATSA that means Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. CAATSA is a United States federal Law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. 
How it was initiated?
India and U.S had elevated their strategic dialogue in 2009 which mainly focused on regional security, economic cooperation, defence, trade and climate challenge. The purpose of 2+2 ministerial dialogue is to put strategic, defence and security relationship between the two countries at the forefront and centre stage. The new format would include External Affairs minister and defence minister from India and their America counterpart’s secretary of state and defence secretary.
Why India-U. S 2+2 dialogue delayed?
America has postponed its inaugural 2+2 dialogue with India which was scheduled to be held in July 2018 Washington DC, citing “unavoidable reasons”. Both countries have now decided to have a dialogue in September 2018. This is the third time that 2+2 dialogue has been postponed in the last six months.
This will enhance and strengthen strategic defence cooperation as well as India will be net security provider in the region due to technological advancements. Both of the countries will be able to understand and tackle the challenges in tougher times. It will also enhance the diplomatic cooperation.