Senior Indian, US officials meet in Washington; discuss South Asia, Indo Pacific
Senior defence and foreign ministry officials of India and the US exchanged views on developments in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific and discussed ways to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism and maritime security on Wednesday.
The bilateral 2+2 inter-sessional meeting of officials, which was held in Washington, also reviewed progress since the last 2+2 dialogue of the defence and foreign ministers of the two sides last October and preparations for the forthcoming dialogue this year.
“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,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
“They also considered possibility of enhancing collaboration in areas of counterterrorism, HADR [humanitarian assistance and disaster relief] and maritime security,” it said.
Both sides took stock of progress and developments in the bilateral agenda for 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 increasing cooperation in these fields based on mutual interests, and also discussed collaboration in contemporary areas such as space, cyber security and emerging technologies.
The Indian side was led jointly by Vani Rao, joint secretary (Americas) in the external affairs ministry, and Somnath Ghosh, joint secretary (international cooperation) in the defence ministry. The US delegation was led by Ely Ratner, assistant secretary of defence for Indo-Pacific affairs, and Ervin Massinga, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs in the state department
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