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SOURCE: ANI

Top US Defence and State Department officials co-chaired the sixth 2+2 Intersessional Dialogue with their Indian counterparts in New Delhi on September 7 and advanced an ambitious set of initiatives across the breadth of the bilateral partnership, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

The US Defence Department said they reviewed progress toward operationalizing major bilateral initiatives on information-sharing, defence industrial cooperation, and joint service engagements.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 defence technology areas.

“The 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,” US Department of Defence spokesperson John Supple said in a statement.

On the defence side, Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner and his counterparts discussed a range of leading regional security issues, including recent developments in East Asia.

“The officials also reviewed progress toward operationalizing major bilateral initiatives on information-sharing, defence industrial cooperation, and joint service engagements to support combined, multi-domain operations,” they said.

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 defence technology areas.

In a separate 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, Supple said.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.

Assistant Secretary Ratner reaffirmed the Department’s commitment to continue positioning the US-India partnership at the centre 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.

The India-US 2+2 Intersessional meeting was held in New Delhi on Wednesday where the senior officials vowed to further strengthen the strategic partnership between both nations.

The officials also reviewed the outcomes of the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue which was held in April 2022. The India-US 2+2 Inter-sessional meeting was led by senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Defence and the US Departments of State and Defence.

“India-US 2+2 Inter-sessional meeting held today in New Delhi. Led by senior officials from MEA & MoD and US Departments of State & Defence. Reviewed outcomes of the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue of April 2022, with the aim of further strengthening the strategic partnership,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.