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November 9, 2023 9:07 AM IST

Fifth India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue to focus on defence and security cooperation

Discussions on defence and security cooperation will take centre stage at the fifth India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue scheduled to be held in New Delhi on November 10, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday.

The event will bring together India’s Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, and External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, with their US counterparts, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in the Indian capital.

In a statement, the MEA explained that the 2+2 dialogue will facilitate a high-level review of progress across various facets of defence and security collaboration, technology value chain partnerships, and people-to-people connections. It added, “The Ministers will take the opportunity to progress the futuristic roadmap for the India-US partnership as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden, in their discussions in June and September this year”.

The agenda will also include discussions on contemporary regional issues and shared priorities for enhancing cooperation within multilateral frameworks, such as the Quad.

Additionally, the MEA announced that bilateral meetings between the Indian and US ministers are on the schedule, reaffirming the commitment to the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.

Strengthening Partnership
Earlier this month, the US State Department announced the forthcoming visit of Secretary of State Blinken and Defence Secretary Austin to New Delhi for the 2+2 ministerial dialogue.
Farwa Aamer, Director of South Asia Initiatives at the Asia Society Policy Institute, said that the upcoming dialogue offers both countries a platform to reaffirm their steadfast commitment to their global partnership and their shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“The forthcoming fifth US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, set to convene high-ranking officials from both nations in India this week, holds the promise of strengthening an already remarkable partnership, especially within the realm of defence cooperation, “he added.

Key Focus on Indo-Pacific:
The discussions will primarily focus on the Indo-Pacific region, including joint ventures for the development of defence equipment. The talks will also cover ongoing negotiations for the US to supply and manufacture engines for Indian fighter jets, MQ-9 Predator drones, and semiconductor manufacturing.

The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, an annual diplomatic summit being held since 2018, brings together India’s foreign and defence ministers with their US counterparts. Its purpose is to address and collaborate on common concerns to enhance and strengthen India–United States relations.

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