India and the United States held the fifth 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi, where they reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening their partnership and discussed key areas of cooperation, including defense and emerging technologies. Union Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh and Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar represented India, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin attended on behalf of the United States.
During the meeting, the ministers highlighted the significant progress made in transforming US-India relations, building upon the recent visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joseph Biden. They emphasized the importance of their partnership in maintaining international peace and security, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. The ministers expressed their commitment to upholding a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific, utilizing mechanisms like the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad).
Both nations reiterated their dedication to promoting a resilient, rules-based international order that respects international law, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. They also stressed their shared values in advancing democracy, human rights, and pluralism.
The dialogue covered various regional developments, including the situations in the Indo-Pacific, Middle East, and Ukraine. The ministers expressed deep concern over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and its global economic and humanitarian impacts. They pledged to provide continued humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and discussed the need for post-conflict reconstruction.
Terrorism in all its forms was strongly condemned during the meeting, with both sides reaffirming their commitment to counter-terrorism efforts. The ministers also emphasized the importance of deepening defense cooperation, including joint military exercises, defense industrial cooperation, and collaboration in emerging domains such as space and artificial intelligence.
The dialogue celebrated the growing trade and technological partnership between India and the United States. Notably, there have been significant US investments in India’s semiconductor sector. The ministers looked forward to further collaboration in emerging technologies and expressed hope for bilateral trade to cross $200 billion by 2023.
Health cooperation, including pandemic preparedness, was also discussed, highlighting the importance of international collaboration in tackling global health crises. Additionally, the ministers recognized the significance of educational and research partnerships. The strengthening of people-to-people ties, including the adjudication of work visas for Indian nationals, was also addressed.
The ministers reaffirmed the Indo-Pacific region’s importance and the Quad’s role in global diplomacy. India is set to host the next Quad Summit in 2024, further emphasizing the commitment of all member countries. The discussion also touched on India’s role in the G20 Summit. The United States reiterated its support for India’s permanent membership in a reformed United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
In summary, the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue showcased the deepening partnership between the two nations. They discussed crucial issues such as defense cooperation, emerging technologies, and the promotion of a rules-based international order. The dialogue also emphasized their commitment to counter-terrorism efforts, enhance trade and technological ties, and collaborate in areas like health and education. With a focus on the Indo-Pacific and the Quad, India and the United States demonstrated their dedication to fostering peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and beyond.