Indian and American delegates, including the foreign and defence ministers of both countries, at the fifth India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, in New Delhi on Friday, November 10, 2023. (ANI Photo)
INDIAN foreign and defence ministers on Friday (10) met their American counterparts in New Delhi and spoke about strategic partnership, defence cooperation and Indo-Pacific situations among other key issues as the 5th India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue kicked off at the Hyderabad House in the Indian capital.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken and defence secretary Lloyd Austin, who reached India on Thursday (9), met Indian external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and defence minister Rajnath Singh during the dialogue. People-to-people ties also featured in their discussion.
After the meeting, Blinken said 2+2 dialogue will be an opportunity to advance the two nations’ relations.
The diplomat added that the two sides were harnessing together the power of innovation to make their respective economies more resilient and their communities more secure while expanding inclusive economic opportunity. He cited the cooperation between the US and India in areas of semiconductors and advanced biotechnology and investments in deploying clean energy at a large scale and joint research and exploration in space.
Blinken also said that Washington and New Delhi were working on deepening their “remarkable” people-to-people ties and stressed on looking into new educational exchanges, travel between the two nations and reducing the waiting queue for visas.
Jaishankar said prime minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US in June had opened a new chapter in the two countries’ bilateral relationship.
“The highlight this year was the PM’s state visit to the United States in June; it has opened a new chapter in our relationship. President Biden’s visit to Delhi in September contributed immensely to the positive trajectory of our ties. His support was key to ensuring productive outcomes at the G20 summit. The dialogue today will be an opportunity to advance the vision of our respective leaders. Building a forward-looking partnership while we construct a shared global agenda,” he added.
Blinken also said that both US president Joe Biden and Modi during that visit had set out an ambitious agenda to build an even stronger and comprehensive strategic partnership that delivers for the people of both countries and the region and the entire world.
Austin said the meeting took place “at a time of great momentum”.
He said that it is important for both big democracies to exchange views, find common goals and deliver for their people in the face of urgent global challenges. He lauded the progress made by both the countries in building a major defence partnership over the past year and expressed hope that it would contribute even more together towards peace and stability.
Singh said that defence is an important pillar of India-US bilateral ties and that India-US bilateral relationship has seen a “growing convergence of strategic interests and enhanced defence, security and intelligence cooperation.”