Rajnath and Jaishankar would host US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Nov 10…reports Asian Lite News
The India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue in New Delhi this week will focus on deepening security cooperation between the two countries, the State Department said Wednesday ahead of the crucial meeting of foreign and Defence ministers from India and the United States.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar would host their American counterparts Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Tony Blinken on November 10.
“India is a country that we have a deep partnership (with). He (Blinken) will be going for the 2+2 security dialogue with Secretary of Defence Austin, so I expect, of course, that deepening the security cooperation and partnership will be one of the many topics that are discussed,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters at his daily news conference.
“It was something that was obviously raised during Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi’s state visit earlier this year, and I know the Secretary looks forward to being there and engaging directly with his counterparts on this,” Patel said in response to a question.
Austin departs for India
US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin has departed for India from the Joint Base Andrews to participate in the fifth India-US 2+2 Ministerial dialogue to be held here in the national capital on Friday.
Following his visit to India, Austin will be travelling to Korea and Indonesia, which will mark his 9th visit to the Indo-Pacific region.
Sharing this on social media platform ‘X’, the US Secretary of Defence stressed that his visit comes as the US along with its partners and allies continue to make historic progress toward a shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
“Wheels up at @Andrews_JBA en route to India, the Republic of Korea and Indonesia. My 9th visit to the Indo-Pacific comes as the U.S., along with our allies and partners, continue to make historic progress toward a shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said in his post.
As the fifth India-US 2+2 Ministerial dialogue approaches, the defence and the foreign ministers of both countries will take the opportunity to progress the futuristic roadmap for the India-US partnership as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar will welcome US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin III for the Fifth India-U.S. 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi.
The ministers of both nations will not only take the opportunity to progress the futuristic roadmap for the India-US partnership but will also take stock of contemporary regional issues.
According to the MEA release, the leaders will also exchange views about shared priorities for augmenting cooperation in multilateral platforms, and through frameworks such as QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue).
‘India a key strategic partner’
The White House has called India a key strategic partner and said the US will leave it to the Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to decide the country’s stance on any particular crisis or contingency around the world.
National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said was speaking about India’s stand on the Israel crisis.
“India is a key strategic partner. And I think you saw that on full display when Prime Minister Modi was here,” John Kirby said.
“We’ll leave it to the Indian government and the Prime Minister to decide, what their stance is gonna be on any particular crisis or contingency around the world, to include the Middle East, but they remain a key strategic partner, and we’re dedicated to advancing that partnership, every single day,” Kirby said.
Meanwhile, terming India a crucial “moral voice” across the world, Israeli Ambassador to India Naor Gilon recently urged New Delhi to designate Hamas as a terror organisation in India as well.
He stated that both India and Israel have a “shared war” against terror and counter-terrorism is one of the areas where the countries align.
Speaking during a press briefing, Gilon said, “Prime Minister Modi Ji was among the first leaders in the world to come out with a clear statement…this was before we had understood the full magnitude of what had happened…I think, that set a very strong tone of clear condemnation of terrorism. It’s important to us because India is a very close ally”.
“India is also a very important moral voice in the world and when it comes to terror, India is also coming from the point of view of someone who knows what they’re talking about being victims for so many years of terrorism,” he added.
Gilon cited several countries that have designated Hamas as a terror group
“I think that it’s also time to officially designate Hamas as a terror organization also in India. Most of the democracies, the EU, US, Canada, and Australia, I believe have already done this, and I think it’s good,” he said.
The Israeli envoy further said that Israel has spoken with relevant authorities in India and the two countries are having dialogue on the issue. (ANI)