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This article was first published 2 years ago  » News » Ukraine, China figure among talks during India-US 2+2 ministerial

Ukraine, China figure among talks during India-US 2+2 ministerial

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: April 12, 2022 08:58 IST
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India and the United States on Monday held the fourth 2+2 ministerial during which the two sides discussed contemporary developments, including Ukraine, and reviewed their collaboration in the Indo-Pacific, amidst China's rising military manoeuvring in the region.

IMAGE: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hold a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, during the fourth India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue at the State Department in Washington, DC on April 11, 2022. Photograph: Michael A McCoy/Pool via Reuters

The 2+2 was attended by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and their Indian counterparts S Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh respectively.

"We have had separate meetings with our State and Defence counterparts respectively. We have of course, benefitted from the guidance provided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden through the virtual summit at which we were all present," Jaishankar said in his opening remarks.


He said the 2+2 format is intended to promote a more integrated approach to Indo-US partnership.

"And this has become increasingly relevant as the scope and intensity of our engagement steadily increases. We can truly assert that there is virtually no domain on which we are not cooperating with each other. The nature of our opportunities and challenges are such that they are more effectively addressed through a cross-cutting dialogue," he said.

As the two sides meet for the fourth time, they can take satisfaction at the extent of progress that they have made, he said.

"Whether it is our $160 billion trade account, our 200,000 students, our highest recorded investment levels or our rapidly growing energy trade, the yardsticks to measure our growing closeness tell their own story," Jaishankar said.

"Our collaboration has grown well beyond its bilateral scope and now has a visible impact on global issues as well. It could be addressing the Covid challenge, taking climate action, ensuring maritime security or promoting critical technologies, what India and the US do together will make a difference," he said.

The minister said that a significant focus of the bilateral engagement pertains to the Indo-Pacific.

"We have seen particularly over the last year both an elevation and an intensification of the Quad. Our achievements have a larger resonance," he said, referring to the four-nation grouping comprising India, the United States, Japan and Australia.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it.

Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.

The two sides also discussed contemporary developments, including Ukraine, Afghanistan, the Gulf and the Indian subcontinent.

Earlier, in a separate meeting at the Pentagon, Singh and Austin reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral defence cooperation and the regional security situation.
Singh urged American companies to come and invest in India and support the 'Make in India' programme.

"I have talked to American companies for Make in India and aerospace and world programme. I have invited them for these programmes," Singh told reporters at the joint news conference with Jaishankar along with their American counterparts.

"We are talking to US companies for co-development and co-production. We are proposing it to them. We have asked the US companies to work in the UP and Tamil Nadu corridor and invest in that area," he said at the conclusion of the India-US 2+2 ministerial, the first of the Biden administration.

"I have insisted that India would focus on co-developmental productions and all the investors should come to India. They are welcome. And because in India they can develop the 'Make in India' because we want to build and make everything in India," Singh told reporters in response to a question.

Earlier, in his opening remarks at the 2+2 ministerial, Singh said that India places the highest priority upon the strategic partnership with the US.

"Major defence partnership is one of the most important pillars of India-US strategic relations," he said.

"As the largest country and the centre to Indian Ocean, and as a democracy, India has critical roles to play in the Indian Ocean region and in the wider Indo-Pacific following the Act East and the Neighbourhood First policy," he said.

India played preeminent role in the region, from the Tsunami in 2004 and during the COVID pandemic.

"We have signed eight different defence-related agreements between our two countries in last few years, including a Space Situational Awareness Agreement for unclassified domain, which is being signed today," he added.

Despite the pandemic, India-US military engagements increased with higher capability in communication, closer information sharing, and enhanced mutual logistic support, he said adding that this is a reflection of their growing depth and scale of the defense partnership.

"In a decade, our defense suppliers from the US rose from negligible to a cumulative around of over $20 billion. We look forward to US companies investing in India and support the Make In India programme," he said.

"We look forward to further enhancing the depth and the scope of our defense cooperation to give effect to our shared vision of a free, open, inclusive, and a rules-bound Indo-Pacific and the Indian Ocean region," he said.

India, he said, is working with the US to double up capabilities across conventional and emerging defense domains. "We have made good progress in a number of defense cooperation activities since the visit of Secretary Austin to India in March 2021".

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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