Published On: Fri, Nov 10th, 2023

India-US partnership of utmost importance to peace, stability: Defence Secy

New Delhi: The India-US 2+2 Dialogue holds “great significance” against the backdrop of a “volatile” global scenario, said Defence Secretary, Giridhar Aramane, while emphasising the critical role of the meeting in exploring avenues for “upholding international law” and providing “humanitarian assistance”.

US and India held on Thursday held a “very deep dialogue”

He also said that the India-US partnership is of utmost importance to peace and stability in the immediate neighbourhood, but also to the connected regions.

The India-US defence cooperation has become a “rock solid support” to the bilateral relations between the two countries, Aramane added. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, along with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, addressed the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue at the Hyderabad House in the national capital.

At the dialogue, Austin said the India-US Defence partnership has made tremendous forward strides in the past year, including the US-India Defence Industrial Cooperation Roadmap. The Defence Secretary of India, while addressing a media briefing following the dialogue, underscored the “potential collaboration” in emerging domains for civilian commercial use as well as for strategic use, which was also a topic of common interest.

“In essence, the defence cooperation has become a rock-solid support for the bilateral relations between the two countries. The potential collaboration in emerging domains for the civilian commercial… How the defence industries can intersect each other’s interests and promote each other in this particular context of strong bilateral ties was also a matter of great focus,” he said.

“This 2+2 is a continuation of the important steps taken during that visit…Especially in the regional and global scenario, when the situation is very volatile, the visit of the dignitaries from the US is of great significance. It affords an opportunity to review the security and see how the upholding of international law and humanitarian assistance can be looked at very closely and in a mutually comfortable fashion,” stated Defence Secretary Aramane.

He also recalled PM Modi’s visit to US in June earlier this year, which led to new initiatives between the two countries and called the 2+2 dialogue, a “continuation of important steps” taken during that visit.

“We had a very successful visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June this year in which many new initiatives were struck. This 2+2 is, in a way, continuation of the important steps taken during that visit. We, in the two plus two meeting, shared our common and convergent interests and shared our mutual goals,” he added.

During the dialogue, EAM Jaishankar also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US had opened a new chapter in the India-US relationship. “The highlight this year was the PM’s state visit to the United States in June; it has opened a new chapter in our relationship. President Biden’s visit to Delhi in September contributed immensely to the positive trajectory of our ties. His support was key to ensuring productive outcomes at the G20 summit. The dialogue today will be an opportunity to advance the vision of our respective leaders. Building a forward-looking partnership while we construct a shared global agenda,” Jaishankar said at the 2+2 dialogue.

The Defence Secretary also said that the investor meeting between the US and India held on Thursday held a “very deep dialogue”. “The innovative ecosystem had a very deep dialogue. The investors and the innovators had heart-to-heart talks. Under the direction of the DIU from the US and the DiO of the Ministry of Defence India, this partnership will give the necessary dynamism for Indian industry, enabling them to become parts of the global supply chain,” he said, addressing the media.

“This meeting will contribute to giving momentum to the defence industry roadmap, which was recently finalised. We have a common vision of free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rule-based global order throughout the seas in this world. Our partnership is of critical importance to peace and stability in our immediate neighbourhood, but also in other regions connected to us,” said Aramane as he concluded his address.

The India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is a diplomatic summit held every year since 2018, with the Minister of External Affairs and the Defence Minister representing India while the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defence representing the United States.

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