Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra met US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Colin Kahl and the two senior officials discussed initiatives to further advance the bilateral defence cooperation and underlined the importance of the ‘India-US Major Defence Partnership’ which has helped in shaping the future of the Indo-Pacific region.
Kwatra, currently on an official visit to the US, met Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Monday and discussed Indo-US ties and ways to further advance their bilateral security and regional cooperation, the situation in the Indo-Pacific region and Ukraine.
During the meeting on Tuesday Kahl and Kwarta discussed initiatives to advance bilateral defence cooperation ahead of the next 2+2 Ministerial meeting in New Delhi, a media release said.
“It was a pleasure meeting w/Indian Foreign Secretary @AmbVMKwatra this afternoon. We discussed a range of bilateral initiatives to advance the US-India defence partnership and promote a #FreeandOpenIndoPacific @DeptofDefence @INDOPACOM,” Kahl tweeted.
“The two leaders exchanged views on developments related to mutual security interests, including in the Indian Ocean Region and Europe,” said Pentagon Spokesman Lt. Col. David Herndon.
“The conversation spanned a range of issues including deepening Navy-to-Navy cooperation, particularly in the undersea domain; expanding information sharing and logistics cooperation to facilitate operational coordination between the US and Indian militaries; and accelerating India’s indigenous defence production through bilateral defence industrial cooperation and partnership in emerging defence domains,” Herndon said.
Since its inception in 2018, the 2+2 Ministerial has allowed the US and India to work toward building an advanced, comprehensive defence partnership that is poised to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
The US has a very close partnership and defence relationship with India and the two countries will continue to work together to further develop that relationship, the Pentagon has said earlier.
The US recognised India as a “Major Defence Partner” in 2016, a designation that allows India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies from America at par with that of the US’ closest allies and partners, and ensures enduring cooperation into the future.
India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the region.
Kwatra arrived in Washington DC from New York on Sunday night.