Wednesday, November 29, 2023

At 2+2 dialogue, US-India emphasise transformative momentum in ties for Indo-Pacific security

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The seventh 2+2 Intersessional Dialogue between top officials from the United States’ Defence and State Departments and their Indian counterparts took place on September 26, with a primary focus on the evolving dynamics of the US-India relationship and the crucial need to maintain security in the Indo-Pacific region. The Pentagon issued a statement on Wednesday highlighting the key outcomes of the dialogue.

During the dialogue, representatives from the US Defence Department and Indian officials assessed the progress made in various significant bilateral initiatives. These initiatives encompassed areas such as information-sharing, cooperation in the defense industry, and joint military activities.

The co-chairs of the dialogue were Ely Ratner, Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, and Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, from the US side. On the Indian side, Vani Rao, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, and Vishwesh Negi, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, participated in the discussions. John Supple, spokesperson for the Department of Defence, provided this information.

The dialogue emphasized the transformative nature of the US-India relationship and reinforced the critical role that a strong partnership between the two nations plays in maintaining security and promoting prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Assistant Secretary Ratner reaffirmed the US Department of Defence’s commitment to collaborating with India to advance their shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Assistant Secretary Ratner expressed his satisfaction with the dialogue and its outcomes, stating, “It was terrific to co-chair today’s U.S.-India 2+2 Intersessional Dialogue, where we reviewed the progress we’ve made on ambitious initiatives across the Major Defense Partnership.”

The 2+2 Intersessional Dialogue covered a wide range of ambitious initiatives spanning various aspects of the US-India partnership, including defense and security, emerging technologies, people-to-people connections, clean energy, and supply chain resilience.

Regarding defense matters, Assistant Secretary Ratner and his Indian counterparts evaluated the progress achieved in implementing the Roadmap for US-India Defence Industrial Cooperation. They also welcomed advancements in new co-production initiatives and expressed a commitment to swiftly conclude negotiations on Security of Supply Arrangement and Reciprocal Defence Procurement agreements.

Additionally, discussions revolved around opportunities to enhance interoperability and logistics cooperation, including combined maritime activities in the Indian Ocean region, as well as expanded collaboration in the domains of space and cybersecurity. The officials also addressed regional security developments and strategic priorities within the broader Indo-Pacific region.

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