India-US 2+2 dialogue to be held in November

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Secretary of State Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin will host India’s External Affairs Minister Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for the maiden 2+2 meeting under the Biden administration, reports Asian Lite News

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh would be hosted by their American counterparts Secretary of State Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin for the maiden India-US 2+2 meeting under the Biden administration

The fourth annual 2+2 dialogue between India and the US would be held in November this year in Washington, according to Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

Shringla, who arrived here on a three-day visit on September 1 following his successful trip to New York, said — “We used this opportunity to have the 2+2 inter-sessional meeting at the joint secretary level.” “We’re looking at the 2+2 which will happen in November. The exact dates are not yet worked out,” Mr. Shringla told a group of Indian reporters on September 3 at the conclusion of his visit.

During his stay in Washington, Shringla held meetings with top officials of the Biden administration, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The 2+2 ministerial dialogue takes place between foreign and defence ministers of both sides. The inaugural ‘2+2’ Indo-US dialogue was held in New Delhi in 2018. The last meeting of the 2+2 was held in New Delhi and the next meeting is to be hosted by the United States.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh would be hosted by their American counterparts Secretary of State Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin for the maiden India-US 2+2 meeting under the Biden administration.

In addition to being engaged on the issue of Afghanistan, the two countries, during Shringla’s visit, had an extensive conversation on regional and multilateral issues including the United Nations and the upcoming Quadrilateral summit here later this year. Quad is a grouping of the United States, India, Australia and Japan.

The four countries had in 2017 given shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the “Quad” or the Quadrilateral coalition to counter China’s aggressive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific region. US Special Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry is also scheduled to visit India soon, Shringla said.

India and the US on September 3 reaffirmed the strength of their defence relationship underscoring their commitment to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation for a free and open Indo-Pacific region as Shringla met Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Colin H. Kahl.

They also discussed Afghanistan and a range of regional issues of shared interest, as well as key areas of defence cooperation across the Indo-Pacific and western Indian Ocean region.

Inter-sessional meeting held

Last week, both the sides had held a bilateral 2+2 Inter-sessional meeting at the official level in Washington DC.

During the talks, 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.

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 officials had an opportunity to exchange assessments about recent developments in South Asia, the Indo-Pacific region and 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 Indian delegation was led jointly by Vani Rao, Joint Secretary (Americas) in the Ministry of External Affairs and Somnath Ghosh, Joint Secretary (International Cooperation) in the Ministry of Defence.

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

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