Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar led the Indian delegation for 2+2 Ministerial, while the US side was represented by Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
India and the US have reaffirmed their ambitions to build an advanced and comprehensive defence partnership in which militaries of the two nations coordinate closely together across all domains. In a joint statement issued after the conclusion of the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue here on Monday, the two sides commended the significant and continuing progress in the India-US Major Defence Partnership.
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"Drawing on the momentum from the India-US Defence Policy Group meeting in October 2021, they reaffirmed their ambitions for building an advanced and comprehensive defence partnership in which the US and Indian militaries coordinate closely together across all domains," the statement said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar led the Indian delegation for 2+2 Ministerial, while the US side was represented by Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. "As information-sharing forms an important pillar of the India-US defence cooperation, the ministers underlined the importance of building a comprehensive framework under which our militaries are equipped to exchange information in real-time across domains" Singh said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh delivers remarks during the fourth US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue at the State Department in Washington, US, on Monday.(Image: Reuters)
"This will help in maintaining the momentum of India-US relationship and taking our work forward. Our two great nations have complementary interests and a shared will to achieve mutual goals," Singh said. "Both India and the US share a common vision of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region. Our partnership is of critical importance for peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the Indian Ocean Region," Singh said.
The ministers said they were committed to working closely across their respective governments on co-production, co-development, cooperative testing of advanced systems, investment promotion, and the development of Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities in India. The ministers also acknowledged the importance of deepening collaboration in science and technology in the India-US Joint Technical Group (JTG), and in evolving new defence domains, including space, artificial intelligence (AI), and cyber. They underscored the importance of cooperation in space and welcomed plans to conduct an inaugural Defence Space Dialogue in 2022. They welcomed the second Defence Cyber Dialogue held in 2021 and look forward to the next round this year.
They decided to hold an inaugural AI Dialogue this year to harness opportunities for joint innovation and cooperation in new domains. The ministers also discussed additional training opportunities for their respective militaries, and the United States welcomed enhanced Indian participation in advanced courses across these emerging domains. They welcomed the progress made toward full implementation of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) to support the exchange of geospatial information.