India, US hold bilateral talks, look forward to 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue later this year
India and the US on Tuesday held virtual talks during which the two sides discussed bilateral cooperation on a full range of international issues and reaffirmed their commitment to work towards ensuring a “free, open, peaceful and prosperous” Indo-Pacific.
Under secretary of state for political affairs David Hale and foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla also discussed the ongoing threats to the rules-based international order, bilateral and multilateral diplomatic cooperation, maritime security, and the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the State Department said in a statement.
During the virtual Foreign Office Consultations, the two officials discussed bilateral cooperation on a full range of international issues and developed concrete steps to strengthen the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership established by their leaders, the statement said.
They agreed that the US-India health partnership, including cooperation on pharmaceutical and vaccine development, will continue to play a critical role in the world’s recovery from Covid-19.
Hale and Shringla affirmed the US and Indian visions of “a free and open Indo-Pacific region, where all countries can prosper, and agreed to work with other Indo-Pacific partners to bring these visions to reality,” it said.
China has been fast expanding military and economic influence in the Indo-Pacific region, triggering concern in various countries of the region and beyond.
The two officials also agreed to consult closely on all challenges and endeavor to support each other’s objectives.
They “look forward to US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue later this year and pledged to remain in close contact on regional and international issues of mutual concern,” the statement added.