Ahead of the 2+2 dialogue between India and US later this month, senior officials from both the countries held a meeting to exchange views on a range of regional issues of shared interest and discussed new opportunities to strengthen multilateral cooperation.
The Pentagon said on Thursday that the meeting was held on Wednesday at the Joint Secretary level, where views on regional issues pertaining to South Asia, East and Southeast Asia, and the Western Indian Ocean were exchanged besides identifying opportunities for cooperation on maritime security, regional connectivity, counterterrorism and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
The fifth US-India 2+2 Intersessional Dialogue was co-chaired by Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Affairs, Dr. Ely Ratner, along with Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Ervin Massinga, Joint Secretary Somnath Ghosh from the Indian Defence Ministry, and Joint Secretary Vani Rao of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.
“The Dialogue spanned the US–India comprehensive global strategic partnership, including climate, public health, defence, trade, technology and governance,” said Defence Department Spokesperson Lt. Col. Martin Meiners.
The officials during the meeting committed to driving greater interoperability between the US and Indian militaries, the spokesperson said.
Discussions also took place on bilateral and multilateral joint service engagements, as well as ways to advance cooperation in new domains, such as space, cyber, and emerging technology areas. Meiners also said that the high-level meeting also drove progress toward operationalising key bilateral initiatives on information-sharing, logistics, defence industrial cooperation, and joint doctrine engagement through liaison exchanges.
The Intersessional Discourse was held to lay the groundwork for a 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in the coming months. The United States and India have pledged to work together to sustain a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.