IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


11th November, 2023 International Relations


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  • Indian Defence Minister met their counterparts from the US government, for the fifth 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held in New Delhi.

2+2 meetings

  • The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is a diplomatic summit that has been held every year since 2018.
  • It was initially held between the Minister of External Affairs or Foreign Minister, and Defence Minister of India with the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense of the United States to discuss and work on common issues of concern to improve and strengthen India–United States relations.
  • In 2019, the summit involved the respective Foreign and Defence ministers between both India and Japan. In 2021, the summit was expanded to meetings with the Foreign and Defence ministers of Australia and Russia.


  • The dialogue came to existence from an agreement between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump.
  • The dialogue was created to replace the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue which started under the Obama administration. Both nations agreed to the summit during Modi's visit to the United States in June 2017 which was officially announced the following month in August after a phone call between Modi and Trump.
  • The 2+2 meetings have been held annually with the US leaders since 2018.

What are 2+2 meetings and what is the rationale behind them?

  • The 2+2 meetings signify the participation of two high-level representatives, Ministers holding Foreign and Defence portfolios, from each of the two countries who aim to enhance the scope of dialogue between them.
  • The 2+2 meetings have been held annually with the US leaders since 2018.
  • The launch of the dialogue was seen as a “reflection of the shared commitment” by India and the US to provide “a positive, forward-looking vision for the India-US strategic partnership and to promote synergy in their diplomatic and security efforts”.
  • Additionally, India has held 2+2 meetings with ministers from Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and Russia.
  • Notably, in this year’s meeting, Antony Blinken reiterated the significance of India’s relations with some of these countries that are also important US allies.

Defence and strategic agreements under 2+2

  • Over the years, the strategic bilateral relationship with its partners, including the dialogues held in the 2+2 format, has produced tangible and far-reaching results for India.
  • India and the US have signed a troika of “foundational pacts” for deep military cooperation, beginning with the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016, followed by the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) after the first 2+2 dialogue in 2018, and then the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) in 2020.
  • The strengthening of the mechanisms of cooperation between the two militaries is of significance in the context of an increasingly aggressive China.
  • This is because China threatens a large number of countries in its neighbourhood and beyond, and which has been challenging several established norms and aspects of international relations.
  • The establishment of the mechanism with Japan, which is also wary of China’s role, is another example of this.
  • However, India also talks to Russia through 2+2 dialogues, keeping in mind its security and energy interests and the countries’ historical depth of relations.


Q. What are 2+2 meetings and what is the rationale behind them? List the Defence and strategic agreements under 2+2.