India and US officials discuss bilateral and regional issues ahead of the 2+2 dialogue

PTI
Washington Published: Sep 02, 2021, 11:38 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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During the meeting held on Wednesday at the Joint Secretary level, the officials exchanged views on a range of regional issues of shared interest, including in South Asia, East and Southeast Asia.

Ahead of the 2+2 dialogue later this month, senior officials from both India and the US exchanged views on a range of regional issues of shared interest and discussed new opportunities to strengthen multilateral cooperation between the two countries, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

During the meeting held on Wednesday at the Joint Secretary level, the officials exchanged views on a range of regional issues of shared interest, including in South Asia, East and Southeast Asia, and the Western Indian Ocean, and identified opportunities for enhanced cooperation on maritime security, regional connectivity, counterterrorism, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The fifth US-India 2+2 Intercessional Dialogue was co-chaired by Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Affairs, Dr Ely Ratner, along with Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Ervin Massinga, and Joint Secretary Somnath Ghosh of the Indian Defence Ministry, and Joint Secretary Vani Rao of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

"The Dialogue spanned the US–India comprehensive global strategic partnership, including climate, public health, defence, trade, technology, and governance," said Defence Department Spokesperson Lt. Col. Martin Meiners in a readout of the call.

With several defence enabling agreements in place, officials are committed to driving greater interoperability between the US and Indian militaries, he said.

They also discussed bilateral and multilateral joint service engagements, as well as ways to advance cooperation in new domains, such as space, cyber, and emerging technology areas.

Discussions also drove progress toward operationalising key bilateral initiatives on information-sharing, logistics, defence industrial cooperation, and joint doctrine engagement through liaison exchanges, Meiners said.

"Building on growing bilateral ties, US and Indian officials discussed new opportunities to strengthen multilateral cooperation between the United States, India, and other like-minded partners," he said.

The Intercessional laid the groundwork for a fruitful 2 + 2 Ministerial Dialogue in the coming months, as the United States and India work together to sustain a free, open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

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