“Indo-US partnership critical for rules based Indo Pacific”: Rajnath Singh at 2+2 dialogue

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday called Defence one of most important pillars of the India-US bilateral relationship. He called India-US partnership critical for ensuring a free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific.

“In spite of various emerging geopolitical challenges, we need to keep our focus on important and long-term issues. Our partnership is critical for ensuring a free, open and rules-bound Indo-Pacific region. We look forward to closely working with the US across the domains of capability and for partnerships which can address emerging challenges. I look forward to an engaging and enriching discussions today”

In his opening remarks at the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, Rajnath Singh welcomed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and said that Indo-US relationship was seeing growing convergence.

“The India-US bilateral relationship has seen a growing convergence of strategic interests and enhanced defence, security and intelligence cooperation. Defence remains one of the most important pillars of our bilateral relationship. Your visit to India is at a time when India and US are closer than ever before” Rajnath Singh said.

US Secretary of Defence, Lloyd Austin noted that India and the US over the past year have made “impressive gains” in building a defence partnership. He called it “important” that India and US exchange views, find common goals and deliver for the people of two nations in the face of the urgent global challenges.

In his opening remarks at the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, Austin said, “We are meeting at a time of great momentum. The US and India partnership in the face of urgent global challenges, it’s more important than ever that the world’s two largest democracies exchange views, find common goals, and deliver for our people. We’ve made impressive gains in building our major defence partnership over the past year, and that will help us contribute even more together to the cause of peace and stability.”

Lloyd Austin stated that the scope of India-US cooperation is vast. He said that the strength of the US-India partnership is rooted in the people-to-people ties, which he stressed is the heart of the friendship between two nations.

“We’re integrating our industrial bases, strengthening our interoperability, and sharing cutting-edge technology. The scope of our cooperation is vast, it stretches from the sea to space. The strength of our partnership is rooted in the people-to-people ties that are the heart of our long friendship together, our diplomats, entrepreneurs, and students are expanding our partnership in new domains, including clean energy, artificial intelligence, and semiconductors,” Austin said.

“Our increasingly strong ties give us all hope for the future of this partnership and for our common efforts toward a more secure world. So I look forward to today’s discussions and to an ambitious agenda that will keep moving our partnership into the future,” he added.

Lloyd Austin and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken have arrived in Delhi to attend the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue. 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.

The United States and India have established a strong Defence industrial cooperation that looks at opportunities for co-development and co-production of important military capabilities for both countries, according to a US Department of State fact sheet released on Thursday (US local time).

Earlier in 2023, the US approved a path-breaking manufacturing licence for the co-production of GE F414 engines in India. The United States and India launched an educational series that prepares startups and young innovators to contribute to the defence industries in both countries.

The United States and India also cooperate through the bilateral US-Indi Counterterrorism Joint Working Group and the Defence Policy Group. (ANI)




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