India, US to hold 2+2 dialogue in April
The State Department announced Thursday that it will hold a strategic dialogue with top officials from India in Washington, D.C., next week.
The State Department said that Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will welcome India’s Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar and Indian Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh to Washington for the fourth U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue on April 11.
It added that this event will also commemorate 75 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries and “reaffirm the importance of the U.S.-India Comprehensive and Global Strategic Partnership in ensuring international peace and security.”
The department added that the meeting will “reaffirm our shared commitment to a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.”
The U.S. said the dialogue is a chance to highlight the growing major defense partnership between the United States and India.
“The relationship between the world’s largest democracies is built on a foundation of common values and resilient democratic institutions, and the shared Indo-Pacific interests of a rules-based international order that safeguards sovereignty and territorial integrity, upholds human rights, and expands regional and global peace and prosperity,” the statement added.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs added that the dialogue would enable both countries to “undertake a comprehensive review of cross-cutting issues in the India-U.S. bilateral agenda related to foreign policy, defence and security with the objective of providing strategic guidance and vision for further consolidating the relationship.”
It added that it will provide an opportunity to exchange views about important regional and global developments and how both countries can work together to “address issues of common interest and concern.”
This meeting comes as India is coming under pressure from the U.S. and Western countries to take a tougher position with Russia, a country with which it has long had strong ties.
President Biden’s economic adviser, Brian Deese, issued a strongly worded statement aimed at India on Wednesday and said the U.S. has told India the consequences of a “more explicit strategic alignment” with Moscow would be “significant and long-term,” Bloomberg reported.
Last month, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics Daleep Singh traveled to meet with officials from India’s government in New Delhi, and criticized the South Asian country’s imports of Russian oil and its reliance on military hardware from Moscow.