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The US is looking forward to work closely with India: The US State Department

New Delhi: Ahead of 2+2 ministerial meeting between the US and New Delhi – The US State Department said that the United States welcomes India’s emergence as a leading regional and global power and the US is looking forward to work closely with India during the latter’s upcoming UNSC term, starting January 1, 2021.

The US state department added that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper will hold meetings with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh for the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue. The visiting leaders will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hold discussions with other government and business leaders on ways to advance the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.

“The two countries have a strong and growing bilateral relationship built on shared values and a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the world’s oldest and largest democracies, the United States and India enjoy deeply rooted democratic traditions. The growth in the partnership reflects a deepening strategic convergence on a range of issues. Our cooperation is expanding in important areas including health, infrastructure development, energy, aviation, science, and space,” the US State Department said.

Holding the third US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in just over two years demonstrates a high-level commitment to their shared diplomatic and security objectives.

The state department further said that the recent Quadrilateral Ministerial meeting in Tokyo convened by Pompeo and his counterparts from India, Japan, and Australia, demonstrated the strong cooperative ties among Indo-Pacific democracies interested in strengthening a rules-based order in which all nations are sovereign, strong, and prosperous. “The Quad has proven to be an effective multilateral mechanism, helping to create resilient supply chains, promote transparency, counter disinformation and increase maritime security.

The US state department praised India’s development in all sectors and said with its large economy, strong support for entrepreneurship and innovation, and its growing international trade, is one of the world’s leading economic powers and is well-positioned to promote our shared vision for a free and rules-based Indo-Pacific where all nations can prosper.

According to the fact sheet India and the US are expanding cooperation between the two militaries includes the navies, which play a critical role in ensuring freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific. In July 2020, the Indian Navy successfully completed a passing exercise with the US Navy as the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group transited through the Indian Ocean Region.

In 2019, the US and India held their first-ever tri-service exercise, Tiger Triumph, in which the US Navy and Marines, Air Force and Army participated in a bilateral exercise with their Indian counterparts. The United States welcomes Australia joining the Malabar naval exercise alongside India and Japan. The state department added.

On the Defence trade, the state department said that “the defence trade between the US and India has increased significantly in the last two decades and India maintains the largest fleets of C-17 and P-8 aircraft outside the United States and as of 2020, the United States has authorized more than $20 billion in defence sales to India.

“The United States and India enjoy robust Defence industrial cooperation. Through the US- India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, the United States and India work together on co-production and co-development of defence equipment,” it said.

_Vinayak.Barot

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