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India-US hold 2+2 inter-sessional meeting, discuss inclusive Indo-Pacific

ASIA
By Agencies | September 17th 2021

India and the US early this week held a bilateral 2+2 Inter-sessional meeting in Washington DC and exchanged assessments on developments in South Asia, the Indo-Pacific region and the Western Indian Ocean.

Both sides reviewed the progress made since the last 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held in October 2020 and preparations for the forthcoming dialogue later this year.

Both sides took stock of the progress and developments in the bilateral agenda under the India-US strategic partnership, including defence, global public health, economic and commercial cooperation, science and technology, clean energy and climate finance, and people to people ties, a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed.

They explored opportunities for enhancing ongoing cooperation in these fields based on mutual interests. Cooperation in contemporary areas such as space, cyber security and emerging technologies was also discussed, the statement said.

The officials also exchanged assessments about recent developments in South Asia, the Indo-Pacific region and the Western Indian Ocean, given their shared vision for peace, stability and prosperity and for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. They also considered the possibility of enhancing collaboration in areas of counterterrorism, HADR and maritime security.

The virtual meeting discussed issues such as combating counter terrorism, India’s membership on the UN Security Council, efforts to counteract recent destabilising actions in South Asia, and the broader Indo-Pacific region. Both sides also agreed to further strengthen consultation through United States-India-Australia-Japan Quadrilateral consultations.

The Indian delegation was led jointly by MEA Joint Secretary (Americas) Vani Rao and Secretary (International Cooperation) Somnath Ghosh.

The US delegation was led by Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Affairs Ely Ratner alongside Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs in the Department of State Ervin Massinga.

Meanwhile, the two sides also agreed to continue these discussions ahead of the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue scheduled for later this year.

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