(Image source from: prokerala.com)
An agreement has been signed by India and the US during a 2+2 meeting in order to facilitate transfer of defence technology. The 2+2 meeting of foreign affairs and defence leaders was held regarding the growing strategic relations between world’s largest and and most powerful democracies.
Rajnath Singh India’s Defence Minister and S. Jaishankar External Affairs Minister and Mike Pompeo US Secretary of State and Mark Esper Defence Secretary jointly participated in the 2+2 Strategic Dialogue in Washington on Wednesday.
Singh mentioned that the meet was successful for the maintenance of the relationship between India and the US and taking it forward.
“Today’s 2+2 meeting was meaningful and successful in maintaining the momentum of the India-US relationship and taking it forward,” said Singh after the meeting.
He added saying that, there have been convergence on views of the two nations on most of the International and bilateral issues and that there would be critical situation in cooperating the security and management of the global commons.
“The cooperation will be critical to the security and management of the global commons,” Singh added.
Discussions were also made on the threat from Pakistan and counter-terror cooperation.
Singh said that, India had kept its point forward regarding the belligerent statement and the “incitements to anti-India violence by Pakistani leaders.”
“India has, rightful concerns that they have about a terrorism emanating from Pakistan, and we assured them that we would take that into account,” said Pompeo.
On the Industrial Security Annex which is a defence technology transfer agreement, Rajnath Singh said it “will enable smooth transfer of classified technology and information between private entities of USA and India.”
Pompeo said that three agreements under the Defence Technology and Trade initiative were finalized by the two countries, “which will enhance our ability to co-produce and co-develop critical technologies.”
He said that the trade representatives of US Robert Lighthizer is striving with his Indian counterpart on trade deal that is fair and reciprocal.
"There are ongoing negotiations on the subject of trade, and I'm very confident that we'll find a balanced outcome that satisfies both sides," Jaishankar said.
He added saying that, "Our bilateral trade has registered double-digit growth of late."
Iran is another point of divergence between the two countries when US forced India to stop its oil imports and is following an aggressive policy.
Pompeo said, "On Iran, we discussed the maximum pressure campaign and why it's necessary for getting the outlaw regime in Tehran to behave like a normal nation."
An exemption for the Chabahar port project of India has been granted by Washington as it is used to move aid to Afghanistan.
" I’m very grateful to Secretary Pompeo for reiterating the US Government support of the Chabahar project, which will immensely benefit Afghanistan," said Jaishankar.
Pompeo made a brief mention of the Indo- Pacific although the focus of both the countries is driven by China: "We discussed the risks that Chinese-built communication networks, including 5G, pose to our treasured freedoms and how China's unfair and predatory economic activity in the Indo-Pacific presents a risk to those very freedoms."
The area of Indo-Pacific, as the focus, Jaishankar said they discussed "ways to leverage our respective strengths to benefit not just our two countries but the entire region. Our cooperation is aimed at advancing a free, open, inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous Indo-Pacific based on the recognition of ASEAN centrality."
Jaishankar and Pompeo met at the State Department before the joint meeting of the four leaders while discussions at the Pentagon were held by Singh and Esper.
A guard of honour and 19-gun salute were received by Singh when he arrived at the US military headquarters.
By Shrithika Kushangi