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Fifth India-US 2 plus 2 Ministerial Dialogue started in the National Capital

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New Delhi: The fifth India-US 2 plus 2 Ministerial Dialogue has started in New Delhi today. Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar are co-chairing the 2 plus 2 Ministerial Dialogue with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

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. Mr Singh said, despite various emerging geopolitical challenges, both countries need to keep focus on important and long-term issues. He said, partnership is critical for ensuring a free, open and rules-bound Indo-Pacific region.

Speaking on the occasion, External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar said, today dialogue will be an opportunity to advance the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden. He said, building a forward looking partnership while both the countries construct a shared global agenda. The Minister said, in the 2 plus 2 meeting, a 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 the 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 a 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’s 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.

Earlier in the Ministerial Dialogue, External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. In a social media post, Dr. Jaishankar said, they spoke about West Asia, Indo-Pacific and other regional issues.

Akashvani Correspondent reports that a number of strategic, defence and technology issues are expected to be discussed during the 2 plus 2 dialogue and the bilateral meeting. The Dialogue will enable a high-level review of progress being made in cross-cutting aspects of defence and security cooperation, technology value chain collaborations and people-to-people ties. The Ministers will take the opportunity to take forward the futuristic roadmap for India-US partnership as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden, in their discussions in June and September this year. Both sides will also take stock of contemporary regional issues and exchange views about shared priorities for augmenting cooperation in multilateral platforms, and through frameworks such as Quad.

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