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Fifth India-US 2 plus 2 Ministerial Dialogue concludes

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New Delhi: The fifth India-US 2 plus 2 Ministerial Dialogue has concluded successfully in New Delhi on Friday. Both the countries deliberated on wide range of issues including defence and security ties, space, technology, logistics cooperation and people-to-people contacts. Leaders of two nations also exchanged views on the Indo-Pacific, South Asia, West Asia and Ukraine conflict by reaffirming their commitment to enhance collaboration in multilateral arena and engaging the Global South. Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar co-chaired the 22 Ministerial Dialogue with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Briefing the media after the meeting, External Affairs Secretary Vinay Kwatra said, India and US undertook a comprehensive review of the bilateral relations. He said, leaders of both the countries discussed multiple partnerships in area of trade and investment, technology, critical and emerging technologies, value and supply chain, space, mineral securities, and terrorism. He said, both the nations also deliberated on the regional developments and common challenges.

Briefing the media, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane said, both the countries have a very thriving defence ties and co-development is the focus area in the last few years.

Earlier, in his opening remark at the Ministerial Dialogue, Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh said, the India-US bilateral relationship has seen a growing convergence of strategic interests and enhanced defence, security and intelligence cooperation. He said, defence remains one of the most important pillars of bilateral relationship. He said, in spite of various emerging geopolitical challenges, both the countries need to keep focus on important and long-term issues and partnership is critical for ensuring a free, open and rules-bound Indo-Pacific region.

Speaking on this occasion, External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar said, today’s dialogue will be an opportunity to advance the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden. The Minister said, in the 22 meeting, comprehensive overview will be done of cross cutting defence, strategic and security ties, technology and supply chain collaboration, and people to people exchanges. He also highlighted the growing trade and FDI inflow between the two countries saying that bilateral trade has surpassed 200 billion US dollar mark. He said, both the countries are exploring domains such as critical technology, civil outer space collaboration, and critical minerals to boost the cooperation. The Minister stressed that key focus of the discussion will be the Indo-Pacific region.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also highlighted the growing ties between India and US saying that during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to US in June, US President Joe Biden and Mr. Modi set a very ambitious agenda to build comprehensive strategic partnership. He said, both the nations are promoting free, open and prosperous Indo-US pacific and strengthening partnership through QUAD.

Speaking on this occasion, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin said, scope of cooperation between the India and US is vast ranging from seabed to space. He said, strength of world two largest democracies is rooted in people to people ties. He said, through cooperation, both the countries are expanding their partnership in new areas including Artificial Intelligence, Semiconductors and Renewable Energy.

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