India US 2+2 Dialogue: Indian and US leaders have pledged to work for a free, open, inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region in a high level meeting between the defence and foreign ministers of their countries in the US capital on Wednesday. Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh and foreign minister S Jaishankar held discussions with US defence secretary Mark T. Esper and secretary of state Mike Pompeo under the India-US 2+2 Dialogue, which is the highest level of institutional mechanism between the countries for strategic dialogues.
“At the Dialogue, both sides assessed the growing partnership between India and the United States, and noted that important milestones had been achieved since the inaugural 2+2 dialogue in New Delhi in 2018,” said the defence ministry.
The first India-US 2+2 dialogue was conducted in New Delhi last year.
The India-US 2+2 dialogue provides for a review of the security, defence and strategic partnership between India and the United States. This was the second 2+2 meeting and the first in US.
In the meeting, both sides reiterated their commitment to advancing a free, open, inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
The leaders of both the countries also agreed to further deepen military-to-military cooperation, including between the Indian Navy and the US Navy Fleets under US Indo-Pacific Command, Central Command, and Africa Command.
They also expressed their intention to expand similar cooperation between their respective Armies and Air Forces. A number of other initiatives to enhance military-to-military cooperation were also agreed upon.
The two sides also concluded the Industrial Security Annex during the visit. Priority initiatives have been identified for execution under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) programme.
India and the US also concluded a standard operating procedure for this process.
“These measures are expected to provide momentum to collaboration between the private defence industries of both India and the US,” the defence ministry said.
The two sides also agreed to move forward in their engagement in the area of defence innovation.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh and US Defence Secretary Mark T Esper later held delegation level bilateral talks at the Pentagon on further strengthening India-US defence partnership and External Affairs Minister held bilateral talks with his counterpart Secretary Pompeo.
Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh also paid floral tributes at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery.
After the 2+2 meeting, Rajanth Singh and external affairs minister S Jaishankar called on the US President Donald Trump at the Oval Office.
They were accompanied by US National Security Adviser Ambassador Robert O’Brian.