Source : Press Trust of India (PTI)
Washington: The US is committed to continue to position its relationship with India at the centre of its Indo-Pacific approach, the Pentagon said on Thursday, as officials from the two countries concluded a series of high-level meetings in New Delhi.
Department of Defence Spokesperson John Supple said that just concluded 2+2 Intersessional Dialogue advanced an ambitious set of initiatives across the breadth of the US-India partnership, including defence and security, science and technology, climate, public health, trade, and people-to-people ties.
Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner co-chaired the sixth US-India 2+2 Intersessional Dialogue in New Delhi on September 7 alongside Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu, Joint Secretary Somnath Ghosh of the Indian Ministry of Defence and Additional Secretary Vani Rao of the Ministry of External Affairs.
Ratner told his Indian counterparts that the Department of Defence is committed to continue positioning the US-India partnership at the centre of its approach to the region as the two countries work together to advance their shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, amid China flexing muscles in the region.
On the defence side, Ratner and his counterparts discussed a range of leading regional security issues, including recent developments in East Asia, Supple said.
The officials also reviewed progress toward operationalising major bilateral initiatives on information-sharing, defence industrial cooperation, and joint service engagements to support combined, multi-domain operations, the spokesperson added.
“They committed to launching an inaugural Emerging Defence Capabilities Dialogue later this fall, as the two sides expand cooperation in new domains such as space, cyber, artificial intelligence, and other defense technology areas,” Supple said.
During the Maritime Security Dialogue on September 8, the US and Indian officials discussed ways to expand US-India collaboration both bilaterally and within multilateral networks, including with Australia, Japan, and European partners.
“They identified new opportunities to coordinate capacity-building activities in South and Southeast Asia, deepen logistics cooperation, and drive forward high-end Navy-to-Navy cooperation to address challenges, including in the undersea domain,” he said.
“Ratner reaffirmed the Department’s commitment to continue positioning the US-India partnership at the center of its approach to the region as the United States and India work together to advance our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Supple said.