The 2+2 meeting today is important in strengthening the strategic defence engagement between India and US and will enable us to work alongside in number of areas of mutual interest. Our increased cooperation will be critical to maintain peace and security, and to ensure free access to global commons.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a joint news conference with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar and Indian Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh at the Department of State.
DATE: 12 APR 2022
“Secretary Blinken, Secretary Austin, Dr Jaishankar, Members of Press, ladies and gentlemen,
I thank the Secretaries, their delegations, and their staff for excellent interaction and their warm hospitality. I deeply appreciate their commitment to our bilateral relations.
Today, we have had a very meaningful and in-depth discussion. 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.
We had discussions on a range of bilateral, defence and global issues. It was heartening to note that as world’s largest democracies, we have convergence of views on most of them. Both India and 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.
During the meeting, we shared our assessments of the situation in our neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean Region. The use of terrorism as an instrument of statecraft against India came up prominently.
Our extensive engagement has yielded important results. Some of these include concluding a Space Situational Awareness Agreement between the Department of Space from India and Department of Defence of USA; commencing the defence space and defence Artificial Intelligence dialogues in near future; significant progress on other initiatives and agreements under discussion; and a shared desire to increase the scope and complexity of our military exercises.
Our military-to-military engagements have continued in spite of challenges from the Pandemic. We are also glad that India has joined the multilateral Combined Maritime Force (CMF) based in Bahrain, as an Associate Partner. This will strengthen cooperation in regional security in the Western Indian Ocean. We are on course in effectively implementing COMCASA, and complete implementing of BECA.
We have agreed to explore further cooperation in the fields of Defence Cyber, Special Forces and expanding the scope of logistics cooperation under LEMOA and during joint exercises.
Both sides have agreed on the need to revitalise the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) with joint projects on advanced and emerging and critical military technologies, to be executed quickly.
I shared India’s desire to take this partnership towards co-development and co-production with US companies. We called for increased investments by US defence companies in India under the ‘Make in India’ programme. Participation of US entities in Industrial collaboration and partnership in research and development will be critical for success of India’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ campaigns.
The 2+2 meeting today is important in strengthening the strategic defence engagement between India and US and will enable us to work alongside in number of areas of mutual interest. Our increased cooperation will be critical to maintain peace and security, and to ensure free access to global commons. I thank Secretary Austin and Secretary Blinken again for their hospitality and their valuable contribution in furthering the India-US partnership. We have invited the two Secretaries to India at a mutually convenient time for the next 2+2 Ministerial meeting.”