Top cupboard officers of India and the US held talks on Friday, stressing the necessity to additional strengthen their friendship to have the ability to take care of pressing world, geopolitical challenges.
The so-called annual “2+2 Dialogue” between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, and their Indian counterparts Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, goals to spice up defence cooperation and align the coverage targets of the 2 international locations within the Indo-Pacific area.
Although Washington is preoccupied with the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, Friday’s talks are anticipated to focus extra on taking ahead the India-US defence and strategic relationship and regional points in South Asia and the bigger Indian Ocean area, officers and analysts have mentioned.
“Defence remains one of the most important pillars of our bilateral relationship,” Singh mentioned in opening remarks on the assembly. “In spite of various emerging geopolitical challenges, we need to keep our focus on important and long-term issues.”
The two international locations which have been as soon as on reverse sides of the Cold War are actually engaged on landmark offers together with for the US to produce and manufacture engines for Indian fighter jets, the provision of MQ-9 predator drones and cooperation in semiconductor manufacturing.
Austin mentioned it was extra necessary than ever that the world’s two largest democracies alternate views, discover frequent objectives, and ship for our folks, “in the face of urgent global challenges”.
“We’re integrating our industrial bases, strengthening our inter-operability, and sharing cutting-edge technology,” Austin mentioned.
The 4 officers are anticipated to select up the threads from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s profitable go to to Washington in June and President Joe Biden’s journey to New Delhi for the G20 summit in September.
“Together we have been taking very concrete steps to deliver on the vision that our two leaders put forward,” Blinken mentioned.
“We are promoting a free and open, prosperous, secure and resilient Indo-Pacific, including by strengthening our partnership through the QUAD with Japan and Australia,” he mentioned, referring to the four-country grouping seen as an effort to counter China’s rise.
Jaishankar mentioned the dialogue would assist construct “a forward-looking partnership while we construct a shared global agenda”.
The two international locations are additionally anticipated to debate their mutual considerations over China, days earlier than Biden’s anticipated assembly with China’s President Xi Jinping subsequent week on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco.
India-US relations have steadily grown stronger on a number of fronts within the final twenty years however New Delhi has additionally fastidiously preserved long-standing relations with Russia, a lot to the frustration of the West because the battle in Ukraine drags.
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