India, US review strategic ties at a high-level meet

It said the two sides explored further possibilities of cooperation in these fields based on common interest. PTI file photo

Indian and US officials carried out a comprehensive review of defence, security and key foreign policy issues under the framework of 'two-plus-two' dialogue between the two strategic partners.

In the meeting held in Monterey, California, the two sides also discussed regional developments, and agreed to pursue their quest for a free, open, inclusive and peaceful Indo-Pacific, the external affairs ministry said here.

The inter-sessional meeting mechanism was set up pursuant to the 'two-plus-two' ministerial talks last year.

Under the new framework, the US secretary of state, US defence secretary, India's external affairs minister and the defence minister held extensive deliberations September 2018 to further enhance strategic ties.

"The two sides reviewed the progress and development of bilateral relations in cross-cutting defence, security, and foreign policy areas since the inaugural 2+2 ministerial meeting," the MEA said.

It said the two sides explored further possibilities of cooperation in these fields based on common interest.

"They also discussed regional developments, and agreed to pursue their quest for a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific," it added.

The 'two-plus-two' ministerial dialogue was agreed upon between the two sides during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington in June 2017.

The second edition of the talks is scheduled to be held in Washington in the next couple of months.

The Indian delegation at the inter-sessional meeting was led jointly by Joint Secretary in MEA Gourangalal Das and Joint Secretary in defence ministry V Anandarajan.

The US delegation was led by Ambassador Alice Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, and Randall Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs.

India inked a key military-information sharing pact with the US last year after the 'two-plus-two' talks. 

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