At 2+2 meeting, India, US underline progress in ties : The Tribune India

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At 2+2 meeting, India, US underline progress in ties

Sign pact on space info



New Delhi, April 11

Despite India not walking in step with the US on sanctions against Russia, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister underlined the importance of Indo-US relations.

“Our collaboration has grown well beyond the bilateral scope and has had an impact on global issues, whether it is the Covid challenge, taking climate action, ensuring maritime or securing critical technology. What India and the US do together will make a difference,” said Jaishankar in his opening remarks at the fourth Indo-US “two-plus-two” meeting in Washington on Monday, attended by the Foreign and Defence Ministers of both countries.

Charting the progress in bilateral ties, the EAM referred to the $160 billion trade account, two lakh Indian students in the US, highest recorded investment levels and the rapidly growing energy trade to state that the “yardsticks to measure our growing closeness tell their own story”.

In a signal of greater strategic proximity, India and the US inked a pact to share information on space activities during the 2+2 meeting. The Space Situational Awareness memorandum of understanding (MoU) aims to protect the satellites of the two countries.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh described the defence partnership as the most important pillar of Indo-US strategic relations and pointed out that the cumulative value of its import of US military hardware was $20 billion. This was poised to rise as both sides would discuss joint work in emerging defence domains.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said besides discussing Russia’s war against Ukraine, other topics on the agenda include Covid cooperation, tackling climate change, greater Indo-US ties in defence and security in the Indo-Pacific region, improving counter-terrorism cooperation and strengthening bonds between higher educational institutions.

US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin said though China was trying to refashion the region and the international system in terms that serves its authoritarian interests, he was confident that the US and its allies would create and sustain a favourable balance of power.

#Jaishankar #rajnath singh


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