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The US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma has met with senior Indian ministers and officials in New Delhi to advance the US-India global strategic partnership and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region, according to his spokesperson.

Verma, the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, is the highest-ranking Indian American in the State Department.

The former US Ambassador to India was on an official visit to India from February 19 to 21.

He met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane, and Deputy National Security Advisor Vikram Misri in New Delhi, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said here on Thursday.

Verma’s meetings explored opportunities to strengthen US-India cooperation and people-to-people ties to ensure a free, open, secure, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, Miller said.

He also met with Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal to discuss further expanding trade and economic ties between the US and India.

The Deputy Secretary and Indian officials further emphasised the benefits of close partnership on addressing global issues, Miller said.

Verma is on a six-day official visit to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives till Friday to strengthen bilateral ties with the nations, reaffirming America’s enduring commitment to a free, open, secure, and prosperous region.